“What I have ascertained is not that PCs as we know them lack good design, but that PCs as we know them have hardly any design to speak of.”

— Tycho from Penny Arcade discovers the Mac

Munitions go boom


Well, actually it’s just the DNS server, which I have no control over. It looks like the caches started timing out around midnight. IP address for munitions.com is 209.81.13.66.

Landscaping


As a happy suburbanite, I like having an attractive yard. As a mostly-nocturnal, white-collar kind of guy, though, I don’t like actually going out there and doing the work myself.

I just met with my favorite landscaping contractor (Richard’s and Adan’s Landscape - Maintenance, serving Monterey County, CA) yesterday to have him trim, weed, and replant my front and back yards. Fairly basic stuff, but the jasmine is taking over the sidewalk, one of the trees is growing so well that it’s tearing itself apart in the wind, the weeds grew four feet high while my back was turned, and about a third of the plants front and back have died from my benign neglect.

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“How could you not know?”


As airport-restaurant dinners go, it should have been one of the best. I was sharing a table with three friends, two of whom were former Playboy centerfold models. Good people. Reasonable food. Interesting conversation.

Then the topic turned to astrology.

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HTML forms suck


It didn’t shock me to discover this, but it was one of those things about the web that I hadn’t really played with seriously. Then I started trying to expose all of the parameters for my random web colors page, so people could tinker with the color-generation rules.

Not only did the form add 24K to the page size, it increased the rendering time by about an order of magnitude.

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Death Manga


I’ve been away from the comics scene for a while now. Indeed, I just dumped most of mine into my storage unit because I hadn’t opened the boxes in years and had other uses for the space. I still wander into a comic shop once every few months, but there’s very little that I want to buy.

This, however, I could not pass up. Death of The Endless, already the cutest goth chick in the known universe, in a breezy manga-styled graphic novel. And it’s as good as it sounds.

Color combinations for web sites


I’ve stumbled across two interesting tools recently. The first is the Mac application ColorDesigner, which generates random color combinations with lots of tweakable knobs. The second is Cal Henderson’s online color-blindness simulator, designed to show you how your choice of text and background colors will appear to someone with color-deficient vision.

I decided to try to merge the two together into a single web page, using Mason and Cal’s Graphics::ColorDeficiency Perl module. It’s not done yet, but it’s already fun to play with: random web colors.

Right now, the randomizer is hardcoded, but as soon as I get a chance, I’ll be adding a form to expose all of the parameters.

Online music done right


Just for amusement, a list of the albums and songs I’ve purchased from the iTunes Music Store since it went online.

Complete albums:

  1. A Wonderful World, Tony Bennett & k.d. lang
  2. Jazz Cello, Ray Brown
  3. The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years, Ray Charles
  4. In Blue, The Corrs
  5. Count Basie's Finest Hour, Count Basie
  6. Getz for Lovers, Stan Getz
  7. Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio, Stan Getz
  8. Best of Al Jarreau, Al Jarreau
  9. B.B. King: Anthology, B.B. King
  10. Late at Night with Dean Martin, Dean Martin
  11. The Best of the Moody Blues, The Moody Blues
  12. Confirmation: The Best of the Verve Years, Charlie Parker
  13. Blues Etude, Oscar Peterson
  14. Tracks, Oscar Peterson
  15. We Get Requests, Oscar Peterson Trio
  16. With Respect to Nat, Oscar Peterson Trio
  17. Oscar Peterson: Stéphane Grappelli Quartet, Vol. 1, Oscar Peterson & Stéphane Grappelli
  18. Liz Phair, Liz Phair
  19. The Dynamic Duo, Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery
  20. Great American Marches I, John Philip Sousa
  21. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Trevor Jones & The London Symphony Orchestra

Individual Songs:

  1. You've Made Me so Very Happy, Blood, Sweat & Tears
  2. Do You Wanna Hold Me?, Bow Wow Wow
  3. Takin' It to the Streets, The Doobie Brothers
  4. What a Fool Believes, The Doobie Brothers
  5. Radar Love, Golden Earring
  6. The Day Basketball Was Saved, Jackson 5
  7. I Think It's Love, Jermaine Jackson
  8. Laura, Billy Joel
  9. Beth, Kiss
  10. Detroit Rock City, Kiss
  11. King of the Night Time World, Kiss
  12. Shout It Out Loud, Kiss
  13. Head to Toe, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
  14. Insanity, Liz Phair
  15. Don't Stand so Close to Me, The Police
  16. Every Morning, Sugar Ray
  17. Macho Man, Village People

Mass walkout in progress?


This afternoon, I was harassed and verbally abused by a total stranger who called me at home. Since the Caller-ID info identified him as a telemarketer, the only reason I’d picked up the phone in the first place was to chant the familiar litany, “please place me on your do-not-call list.”

I never got the chance. He refused to identify himself, refused to tell me the purpose of his call, called me offensive names, and gleefully repeated my responses to the other people working at his call center. I could hear them in the background, saying similar things to other people.

Then I said, “you know, this phone has caller-id, and I know where you’re calling from.”

click

I’m currently waiting on a callback from his manager.

Pacesetter Corp, 916-364-3900. Apparently they sell window coverings and other home-improvement products.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”