Wednesday, January 26, 23:45 CST
I just finished reading Neil Gaiman's Stardust. A genuine fairy tale, the kind of book you read straight through in a sitting and emerge from with a good kind of post-dream feeling.

I need to check out more of Gaiman's work, I think. I know next to nothing about comic books (or graphic novels), but I've been wondering about Sandman for quite a while now, and I think its entire run is available as a series of trade paperbacks.

Tuesday, January 25, 21:30 CST
Where to start?

My new keyboard arrived, and I've been using it for a while. Wasn't sure at first, but I like it quite a bit after getting used to it. The biggest downside is that making the switch between this and a regular layout is a little confusing. It's a Datadesk (merged with Darwin Keyboards recently, I guess) SmartBoard, a split design with actual mechanical, non-mushy keyswitches and a good feel to it. Maybe I'll write a review after I've used it a little longer.

I took an anti-inflammatory for my wrists for 10 days or so, and I've obviously been using the computer less lately (note date of last changes to this page). Seems to have helped some, so I'll give it a while longer before going back to the doctor. What'd probably be good for me would be to quit typing completely for a month or 3, but I'm fairly certain I just couldn't do it.

I finished reading The Complete Amber Chronicles, a single-volume paperback with all of Roger Zelazny's Amber books. Fantasy on a big scale. Emphatically not unoriginal crap obviously derived from a shallow reading of Tolkien with, which is always a good start. The first 5 books were excellent, the second 5 a little weaker by the end, but still well worth reading. Presented as a single volume, they read like a couple of mostly seamless novels. Seemed like a great way to read them to me, but I can see how it might be a little much.

At the moment, I'm re-reading Tigana, by Guy G. Kay, which I still think is the best single volume fantasy I've ever read. Well, with the possible exception of The Lions of Al-Rassan.

Hmm. Other stuff. Lots of it. Later, I guess.

Monday, January 10, 20:46 CST
Meant to write a lot the other day and post it, but my RSI/carpal tunnel/whatever it is has been bad for several days now, to the point where typing anything just isn't worth it. Writing's not much fun either.

I finally ordered what looks like a nice ergonomic keyboard, and scheduled a doctor's appointment, both of which I should have done months ago. I'm a bit of a moron. At any rate, I think it's going to be a while before I spend much time on the computer.

(Think this can't happen to you? You're kidding yourself.)

I'm off to deal with an interface that probably won't let me self-inflict any thing worse than a papercut.
(top of page)

Saturday, January 8 (posted later)
Got back from a quiz bowl competition earlier this afternoon (quiz bowl: teams of geeks from local high schools compete to answer trivia questions, hoping for a chance to embarass themselves on local TV). We cleaned up. Didn't lose a match. Which means we get a chance to embarass ourselves. Still a little scary how seriously some people take this stuff. People walking around in suits or matching t-shirts, rubbing their lucky yard gnome statues...

Friday, January 7, 22:55 CST
Well, it's been a while. I'd hoped to have some changes made around here by now. I've run into a few problems.

  1. I should change the color scheme.
  2. I have no idea what would be a good color scheme.
  3. I like the concept of CSS. In theory, it means you can write nice, clean, structured HTML and still have useless but attractive eye candy formatting for graphical browsers. Guilt free.
  4. CSS is needlessly complicated and poorly supported. Adopting CSS would probably mean half the people viewing this page would see no formatting whatsoever.
  5. A few graphics might be cool.
  6. .gif's kinda suck, and it'd be nice to use .png's
  7. .png's are poorly supported

The more I think about it, the more I wish I'd been in a position a few years ago to beat some sense into people writing web browsers. And the people coming up with high minded specifications that no one writing web browsers paid any attention to. Maybe especially them.

"You! Give me one more useless, bug ridden proprietary tag intended to make web pages look flashy for 12 year old script kiddies and idiots in upper management, and I will personally beat you about the head and shoulders with this frozen trout! Do we have an understanding?"

"And you... Don't get me started on you. When was the last time you produced a set of standards anyone actually implemented?" [pause for menacing gesture with frozen trout] "No more pointless acronyms! I want an actual standard for separating content from presentation. Today. Before the dominant browsers pollute the 'net with dozens of versions of software and terabytes of incompatible legacy code."

You and I both know this is how it works. Group A comes up with a series of complex, detailed and thoroughly peer reviewed documents outlining the information infrastructure of the future. Group B sits around and says "Ooh! Ooh! I know! Let's add a tag that makes text blink!"

Then a few million self-styled "web designers" come along and abuse those parts of the standards that have any meaning, ignore the rest, and demand more of the same crappy software. And before you know it, it's 2000, and I'm sitting here bitching about this stuff.

Ok, I'm done.

Real update tomorrow.