Weblogging Archives

September 23, 2002

Why Soldier Ant?

Carrying on a proud tradition of superhero origin stories, I feel compelled to explain myself. So, why 'Soldier Ant'? (Especially when 'Worker Bee' is probably closer to the mark.)

First, it helps to understand something about trophallaxis, the process whereby ants in a colony balance the group's nutritional needs via shared mutual mastication and digestion.

Adventuresome, far-ranging ants will bring bellies-ful of exotic treats (an interesting leaf, perhaps, or a piece of fallen berry) back from their constant perambulations -- and vomit said treats up to share with fellow ants. (Ants who, themselves, may be purging up some different foodstuffs -- kind of an ant-equivelant of "Show me yours and I'll show you mine.") Each ant benefits from having access to a wider variety of nutritional content, and the colony as a whole thrives and survives.

Ants invented Reesie-cups

An interesting side-effect of the whole process, however, is that more than just food gets passed along. Trophallaxis is also, it seems, a very effective means for ants to transfer Information. Information about potential danger, a potential windfall, or just information about the lay of the land: what's been traversed, what was found, and where to find it again.

So there you have it. Welcome to my vomit. Please leave some of your own.

September 25, 2002

House blog - managing your life in a blog

I'll expand a little more on this later, but I wanted to put it out there. A very compelling use of the blog format (and one I'm sure others have stumbled on already) is that of a 'Home Blog.' I've been keeping a running account of my family's household matters for ~4 months now (much longer than I've been doing this public blog.)

The categories on our home blog? Bear in mind, these are slanted toward our particular context, of being new homeowners, recently moved from a small apartment in San Francisco to a single-family home in Ohio. They are:

Customer Support
<Dog> (Name removed to protect anonymity)
Home Electronics
Lawn & Garden
Service Calls

These could probably be tightened up a bit, but they've sufficed so far.

Most-used category so far? 'Customer Support' serves to track the constant and constantly grating conversations with Earthlink, credit card co.s, etc. etc. (Most entries are just infuriating accounts of how much time I spent on hold and the various half-truths, deflections and deferrments that I receive in lieu of answers.)

I've not yet had a customer-support issue rise to the level of Turbo-worthiness, but a couple have come close. These detailed logs give me real peace of mind, knowing that - apparently - the customer relationship records that I keep seem to be better than those of most of the companies that I deal with.

Oh, and suffice it to say that the blog is hosted on a local network only, with due security precautions taken. (For additional security, I generally don't post any salient, telling details on the blog -- no account numbers, passwords, names (other than customer service names, which I strongly suspect are made up anyway.))

Like I said, more on this later...

October 7, 2002


Yes, I realize that the site design for this weblog could use some help. (Of course, you'll recognize it as the 'out of the box' templates for the Movable Type personal publishing system.)

I'd like to say that there's a posh and polished design waiting to be deployed, but - wouldn't you know it - on my sabbatical, the last thing I've felt like doing was working on Web-stuff. I do have a logo, though:


Ah, the glorious results of a misspent vacation..

October 21, 2002

Bored Already

This has got to be a record. I'm at this weblogging thing for... what? A little less than a month. And I've already bored myself stiff.

December 1, 2002

"If I May" by Ethan Coen

If you have sensitive thoughts that you want to put in a poem,
Let me tell you something:
Nobody gives a shit.

January 7, 2003

An emerging pattern

Has Soldier Ant become a staccato series of breathless rhetorical questions?

January 19, 2003

Back in Business

After a brief hiatus (I somehow bungled a Movable Type upgrade -- that's what I get for rushing through it at 2 in the morning, and only partially skimming the documentation while doing so) Soldier Ant is back in business!

January 24, 2003

Lo and Behold

Lo and behold, my old friend William St. Anthony (Guillaume St. Antoine when on the Continent) is back in the blogging business. William is a much-storied man of letters, and I love the way he can see the sublime in the mundane. (And vice-versa.)

Check out his jornal-de-guerra and enjoy his weekly wanderings.

February 16, 2003

Google to buy Pyra

Dan Gillmor has broken the news, and you can bet people will be all excited about it. My initial take is that it's interesting more as an indication of where Google is going, than as a legitimization of (or the 'next big step in') the blogging world.

April 25, 2003

Okay, Now Finally....

A couple weeks back, I was all hyped on BlogShares, but for whatever reason, Soldier Ant was listed, but not available for trade. (Yes, I'm too lazy to understand how the real market works, let alone the fake blog market.)

Anyway, Soldier Ant shares are now truly available for trading. So please do go drop some scratch on me. I may or may not deserve it, but I am begging you.

May 24, 2003

Remaindered Links out of Control

Kottke has added another guest poster to the remaindered links weblog, and Megnut is considering adding her own 'remaindered' blog. I even recommended something very like it to Duffy for Donewaiting. It's remaindered madness!

But something occurs to me. I have been enjoying the experience of following Kottke's Remaindered links over the past couple of weeks. And I think that the feature partially succeeds based on it's scarcity model. So far, the links have been high-quality (by which I mean, interesting) and there are few enough that I can check them once a day, follow each one, and end with a quick feeling of satisfaction.

Tonight, however, all that has changed. It looks as if Lance and Jason have had a little remaindered posting party. 22 posts. Too much!

(A peek at the RSS feed confirms that Meg is largely absent from tonight's boy-on-boy fun, weighing in only with 1 very practical (read 'boring') link to the Motley Fool, and a guide to NYC restaurants. One can only assume she was Googling 'ways to get my 20 bucks back'.)

So, Jason. Do us a favor. Keep the remaindered links, but don't kill their appeal with overrabundance.

(An aside: Kottke's 'Remaindered' format is very close to Jorn Barger's Robotwisdom. Which I also enjoy, at least when he's not foaming at the mouth about 'the Zionists.')

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.

February 17, 2005

Old School

I've finally gotten around to importing a bunch of old entries (everything before Fall of last year, when I jumped hosting providers.) The process was not entirely seamless. I'd chosen to import all entries with the status 'Draft' thinking that I could then easily work through them at my leisure in small batches: checking for broken links; updating paths to included images; etc, etc. But MT imported them all and published 'em straightaway. And changing the status of all those entries to Draft (even using the 'Power Edit' screen for Entries) is rather tedious. So.. if you go poking around in the older entries of the site for awhile? Caveat Clickor.

March 4, 2005


How charming. After spending the past month fighting off dozens of Trackback-spams a day.. I just receieved a Comment Spam! It's so cute.. it's like it's 2004 all over again!

March 8, 2005

C'mon Dave, Gimme a Break

So, a few weeks back, Dave was wondering if his site had a reason to go on. Ever since, he's caught fire, with a wide-ranging set of astute observations, and some tasty literary criticism. Keep it coming, Dave! (And pardon the Van Halen reference -- I couldn't resist.)

March 27, 2005

Jorn's Back

So how long has Jorn Barger been back? Last I knew, he was on walkabout somewhere in the Southwest... Anyone?

April 4, 2005

The Modern-Day Slacker's Guide to Passive-Aggressive Bug Reporting

A couple weeks back, I made mention of a small-but-potentially fatal usability bug in Movable Type. (Okay, it's not 'I killed John Denver' fatal, but it is "I lost every instance of the word diarrhea in my blog archives" fatal.) I reported the bug in a rather weak way: posted a screenshot on Flickr, blogged it here, and then forgot about it. (Oh, I tagged it up all proper-like. My own little experiment in letting the folksonomy do the work of the folks.)

I kinda figured that Jamison would notice it eventually (he works at Six Apart, and is a friend from my AOL days.) Then that shit would be on like Hostess Ding-Dongs (or "King Dons" according to your geographical inclination.) 'Cause Jamison is a passionate guy, and nothing gets him as riled up as user-centered design. (Okay, maybe Black-rock City. He seems to really feel that place.)

But this is a guy who, when Mac OS 10.2 came out, spent almost 20 minutes explaining to me his distaste for the new, ever-so-slightly-glassier Quartz button appearance (it's a respect-for-guidelines thing. Don't ask.) So, I'm thinking, once Jamison gets wind of this, woe to the bug that's standing in front of that can of shaken Raid.

But who do you suppose finally spied the screen on Flickr and weighed in with his (terse, but wonderfully honest) two-pence? Anil Dash. And it only took 2 weeks and 5 days! And all I had to do was meekly raise my hand. No 'petitions to Apple', no haranguing emails. Hell, not even a bulletin-board posting.

So kudos to Anil. (Who, btw, posted about a much worse software bug recently.) Now transfer that bug over to Jamison, the design pitbull, and let's put this issue to bed for the next version. So I can get back to my poopy-pants posting.

About Weblogging

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Soldier Ant in the Weblogging category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

War is the previous category.

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


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