Monday, December 24, ~23:56 CST

It's very nearly Christmas morning, and my computer has begun literally shutting itself off at random times.

This might get cut off at any second, so I'll make it quick. I hope everyone's having as good a holiday as I am - Merry Christmas, folks, whatever you celebrate or don't.

Oh, and go see The Fellowship of the Ring, if you haven't.

I'm sure there's something else. It can wait.

God rest ye merry, people.

Saturday, December 15

Brennen does the cross-site dialog thing

(While being too lazy to provide meaningful context for the discussion.)

Brent - Megatokyo:
I contend that it is possible to regularly update a site, whether it's a weblog, or a comic, or whatever. Yeah, a lot of sites aren't updated regularly, but those that promise to be updated regularly, should be. Piro has repeatedly committed to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. He doesn't maintain that pace, but he also refuses to change his promise. Something's wrong there.

I don't disagree at all that a site can be regularly updated, as a lot of Piro's peers in the webcomic, um, genre (field?) prove in spades. I just think that what's wrong there is Piro's unrealistic attitude towards his schedule. If he can't keep up the pace, there's nothing deeply wrong with that, but he should change the schedule. Or, heck, drop it altogether. I imagine that I'll update this when I can, coupled with every effort to make timely updates, makes for a lot less disappointment than New comic tomorrow! coupled with the inevitable deadline slippage.

Anyway.

Eric - Megatokyo: Yeah, I kind of ignored your point about retracting a cartoon because some fans whine about it and/or you need the no really, it's good ego boost... A point with which I'm pretty much in agreement. If an artist's job was defined by slavish devotion to the majority's (or whining minority's) expectations, great art would never happen. The best we'd ever hit would be moderately amusing. Should you try to please your fans? Absolutely. Should you cower obediently when some of them turn out to think they should be making your decisions for you? Bleah.

Fri Dec 14 15:10:20 CST 2001

I broke down and hauled Wendigo's tower home last night. It was an act of weakness, I know.

My feelings of contrition are tempered somewhat by the fact that the best monitor I have here is the Vivitron 15 incher that came with the Gateway. In 1995. It's actually been a decent monitor, but I can only wonder how many thousand hours I've already exceeded the METBF by... Enough, at any rate, that the only way I can get it to stop flickering is cranking the resolution down to 640x480.

I think I'll go cut some wood.

Thursday, December 13, 14:24 CST

It's December the 13th. The semester is over. It hasn't really snowed yet. I have no idea where to go from here, but then I never really do.

chaotic snippets

I'm done for the semester, as of 10:30 this morning. It's a relief, of sorts. I have every intention of checking out of the dorm and striking out homeward (the 20-some odd mile journey is fraught with a deceptive amount of peril, really) by 4:00. It's not likely to happen.

Eric is cranking stuff out at a rate that frightens me. Subthoughts:

  • Byzantine history is a fascinating subject. Why don't I know more of it?
  • I don't really think Piro's Megatokyo whining is that bad. Yes, it is in point of fact somewhat repetitive and annoying. However: I don't think it's realistic to expect Piro's actual performance to change. Megatokyo's probably going to continue to progress at its current rate, filler and all. That's the nature of such projects. As long as it moves forward in an entertaining fashion, slowly or no, I'll check back once in a while. What would be a reasonable expectation would be for Piro to stop whining and simply do the strip when he can, acknowledging his progress for what it is.
  • You know, it's possible I'd feel differently if it weren't for filler content like the Berke Breathed tribute, which is considerable improvement over the bloody stick figures.
  • A further thought: What's true of Megatokyo is just as true of this site, frex. If you ever see another bit of whinging here about how I really meant to update, or I'm going to post a lot tomorrow to make up for whatever, or... Well, just shoot me. Talking about your personal obsessive web project (blog, journal, comic, overdesigned massively egotistical cry for true love [or at least the chance to get laid more often] with angsty poetry, whatever) being badly in need of an update is the early 21st Century's equivalent of the cute Under Construction .gif, only more pervasive and screamingly self-evident.

[under construction]

The above may well have constituted, strictly speaking, an abuse of the HTML list element. Whole paragraphs, after all, are not exactly small items such as normally fit on bulleted lists. Or are they? Subthoughts:

  • Does it actually matter? I doubt it. This works pretty well for me, and far more grievous mangling of the language abounds.
  • Why the heck don't more people use list elements?
  • I suppose I'll have to do some more research into this one. Not lists. That'd be a tad pedantic. HTML and document formats in general. Lately I'm developing a renewed sense of interest in the web and Usenet and their historical antecedents and interactions...

This last item is because, well, I'm a tech geek - and sooner or later, these things always draw me back into their flashing, whirring, clickety textual embrace. It's odd - I'm closer now than I've ever been to total techie burnout, and experiencing kind of an odd rebirth of interest and understanding. Maybe it's like that sort of peaceful quiet buzzing weird you get after you've been awake for better than 24 hours, just before your body completely stops responding to your commands and drags you down into sleep. What the hell am I talking about, anyway?

Mozilla does tabbed browsing now! When did this happen? And why not sooner? Tabs are perhaps the most obnoxious GUI construct on the face of the earth for many dialogs , but for multiple documents/channels/whatever within a single window, they're at least a very functional hack.

  • When tabs suck: Most Windows configuration dialogs since roughly 1995. Unreal Tournament's whacky tabbed GUI. (Or am I thinking of some other FPS?) Apple's horribly crippling At Ease network login / shell thingy.
  • When they don't: Versions of mIRC since just after I started using it. Other examples beyond the new-to-me Mozilla feature must exist, but don't exactly leap to mind.

You know, I think I disagree pretty strongly with Joel Spolsky about things. I'm not entirely sure what things, but things. There's the rewriting Netscape from scratch was a horrible idea thing, which I seem to remember taking issue with. Not so much because it's entirely wrong in practical terms as, well... Have you used a version of Netscape later than 3.01 Gold and earlier than the Mozilla based releases lately? Let's face it: pre-Mozilla Netscape reached, at some point, a level of deep suckage.

This response to a message by Dave Winer, in the context of a larger argument which I have not bothered to pay excessive attention to, says many things with which I agree. Dave Winer, I think, says many things with which I disagree, or with which I feel that I probably ought to disagree just because of the way they're said. This is not to say that, frex, weblogs.com isn't pretty nifty.

This brings me to linux-elitists, an archived mailing list that sucked me in for a good hour or so last night. From the title, one might gauge a certain set of prejudices inherent in the list's membership. One would, if anything, probably underestimate the magnitude of said prejudices. They happen, however, to be ones which I share to an extent that makes me feel like it's interesting reading.

I would be remiss if I did not point to Google's announcement of their newly much expanded Usenet archive, which contains pointers to all kinds of fascinating historicity. I've come to the conclusion that I'll probably never contribute anything of significant worth to Usenet, but it continues to fascinate me as something observed sporadically from a distance, lurking.

GKrellM is a great system monitoring tool for Linux (and I would suppose other Unix-like) systems running X. Which is to say it's a really cool set of blinking lights, even if less than completely necessary. If you're the sort of person who gripes about dashboards without useful gauges and a surfeit of idiot lights, you would probably love this thing. It's also got like a billion different themes, some of which are pleasantly festive. I keep seeing it out of the corner of my eye and thinking of that useless little Windows toy that drew tiny red Christmas lights blinking around the edges of your desktop.

music snippets - I'd be lying if I said I didn't have designs on you

I know what: Have a somewhat annotated version of my playlist from last night, along with my ego-driven assumption that someone reading this might, in fact, care.

mp3/getupkids/the get up kids - don't hate me.mp3
mp3/h/Hollies - Long Cool Woman.mp3
mp3/h/[Hey Mercedes] - Eleven to Your Seven.mp3
mp3/o/old 97's - rollerskate skinny.mp3
mp3/olp/our lady peace - 4 am (acoustic live - i & i).mp3
  • Canada rules.
mp3/r/Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated.mp3
mp3/r/reel big fish - i hate you, fuck you, leave me alone.mp3
mp3/y/pete yorn - New Enough To Know Nothing At All.mp3
mp3/y/pete yorn - Panic (live acoustic).mp3
mp3/s/[Starlite Mints] - Valerie Flames.mp3
mp3/s/social distortion - ball & chain.mp3
mp3/m/Sarah Mclachlan With Phish And Neil Young - Four Strong Winds.mp3
  • Ok, I *know* that's Neil Young. But how do I tell about Phish and... Aww, forget it.
mp3/s/The Sea and Cake - Jacking The Ball.mp3
mp3/pixies/Pixies - All Over the World.mp3
mp3/m/Matthew Good Band - The Future Is X-rated.mp3
  • Canada. Rules.
mp3/t/third eye blind - leaving on a jet plane (live john denver cover).mp3
mp3/k/the kgb - Free Maryjane.mp3
  • Currently my favorite weed song.
mp3/l/[Lemon Jelly] - The Staunton Lick.mp3
mp3/pixies/pixies - there goes my gun.mp3
mp3/pixies/The Pixies - Caribou.mp3
mp3/pedro/pedro the lion - of minor prophets and their prostitute wives.mp3
mp3/m/Might Mighty Bosstones - The Impression that I Get.mp3
mp3/f/Feeder - Seven Days In The Sun.mp3
mp3/r/[Reindeer Section] - If Everything Fell Quiet.mp3
mp3/r/[restiform bodies] - 3rd Reel Judy Garland.mp3
mp3/pedro/pedro the lion - of minor prophets and their prostitute wives.mp3
mp3/b/[The Blood Group] - Odin.mp3
mp3/blur/blur - music is my radar.mp3
mp3/o/old 97's - Designs on You.mp3
  • Sounds suspiciously like country, or what music calling itself country should sound like, or something.
mp3/eels/Eels - Daisies of the Galaxy - 04 - I Like Birds.mp3
mp3/dispatch/dispatch - Silent Steeples.mp3
mp3/pogues/the pogues - if i should fall from grace with god.mp3
mp3/o/old 97's - stoned.mp3
mp3/o/old 97's - rollerskate skinny.mp3
mp3/m/Sarah Mclachlan With Phish And Neil Young - Four Strong Winds.mp3
mp3/john_denver/John Denver - Country Roads.mp3
mp3/weezer/WEEZER-2001-12-06-Kalamazoo01_The_Dawn_302.mp3
  • Check out weezer.com; the audio-video section has a regularly changing set of mp3's on offer. They opened the show we went to with The Dawn a few days before this version was recorded.
mp3/weezer/weezer - why bother.mp3
mp3/s&g/simon and garfunkle - cecilia.mp3
mp3/s&g/simon and garfunkle - i am a rock.mp3
mp3/dispatch/dispatch - elias.mp3
mp3/beulah/beulah - emma blowgun's last stand.mp3
mp3/beulah/beulah - calm go the wild seas.mp3
  • When Your Heartstrings Break is probably the best pop album I've ever purchased. I'm not saying it's complete incandescent genius music, but it's pretty good. And it was like all of ten bucks from Sugarfree. Would that the music industry at large worked this way. Or at least that a group like Beulah got the recognition they deserve.

I think I need to stop now. It's 5:41, a time that bears no relationship to the datestamp on this update. I'm going home.

Monday, December 10

Paddington
1993-2001
A prince among budgerigars.
Your song will be missed.
RIP

Friday, December 7, 20:52 CST

8:53 PM. Room 215, Morey Hall, Wayne State College, Wayne, Nebraska.

Awright everybody, 'Keep it Like A Secret' is the new album from -
*click*
The scenery rides by, just like floats lost in a parade...

Click click, whack thud clickclickclicka... Keyboard noises. Lots of them, but not the productive kind. More the desperately bored and killing time kind.

Mostly bare walls, institutional off-white. One poster of Dr. Evil (think Austin Powers), one small In Show & Concert! BOB DYLAN And His Band poster, one glittery angel-winged Gundam hanging above the TV. Big red Huskers cloth hanging North window. Green, beige, and red linoleum mostly obscured by gray carpet. Unmade bunk beds, the lower obscured by several articles of clothing (all dark colors), a backpack, and random sheets of paper. Music (another indie pop song of some description is playing now, it might well be Beulah, but doesn't sound trippy enough to be the Apples in Stereo) insufficiently masks the unmistakable drone of outsized, heavily ventilated tower cases and the thin whine of monitors.

There is stuff piled everywhere. Especially around the desk next to the door. Mostly books, if you look at the pile. Roughly half of them textbooks that someone should have known better than to purchase in the first place. Someone who will soon be taking the shaft from a giant corporation (Barnes & Noble, in point of fact) on resale value.

I am going to snap.

Friday, December 7, 17:04 CST

Ok, it's dependent on JavaScript, which I'm loathe to get used to in sites I actually like. And it's a bunch of big, fat graphics that might suck to be pulling off a modem connection.

I don't care.

humanclock.com is still the coolest useless thing I have ever seen on the web.

Thu Dec 6 10:47:47 CST 2001

Well, that's fixed. I had the rewrite rules in the wrong order, so the wrong regular expression was catching everything. Man, regexes are weird magic.

Anyway. I should go to class now.

Wednesday, December 5, 23:59 CST

Brevity's about to win out here again.

I just finished reading Ishi: A Man of Two Worlds. Now I need to write a paper on it. That's not going to happen yet this morning.

This piece on rewriting URL's in Apache, more or less a big list of useful mod_rewrite techniques, was a nice find.

From now on, updates here on p1k3 can be referenced simply by appending a date (y/m/d) to the URL, like so:

http://p1k3.com/2001/12/5
or http://p1k3.com/2001/1
or http://p1k3.com/2001

Which is dirt simple, and has the added benefit of being abstracted from how I store and display the updates, which is a thing that needs some major tweaking.

(On the downside, it's not quite working right. Guess I'll have to fiddle with it more tomorrow.)

Here, have some linkage:

Monday, December 3, 23:20 CST

Much to write, no time to do it.

I'll drop a few links here instead:

weezer.com has actual content! Pics from each concert, even. And no unspeakably obnoxious Flash!

Cool webcomic: The Joy of Tech. Single panel, good art.

And just maybe, you'll be moved.

Saturday, December 1, 1:07 CST

I'm sitting in my roommate's brothers' apartment in Kansas City. I need sleep. Everyone else is crashing. I have three important statements to make.

Jimmy Eat World ain't half bad.

Tenacious D rule the earth.

Weezer Rules the Earth.

Thank you, and good night.