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June 2006

brett's logjam

July 2006

The next month is:
August 2006

1 July 2006

Via Iris & Banjocat: Toren van beren (tower of bears.)

Web Log

2 July 2006

New Bookdragon: The Lord of the Rings: The Mythology of Power

Other Sites Of Mine

4 July 2006

Helping Merrystar get Flash off of Tsiolkovsky when I ran across this page on the Adobe/Macromedia site: How to uninstall the Adobe Flash Player plug-in and ActiveX control

Due to recent enhancements with the Flash Player installers, you are now only able to uninstall by using the Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller (below). To uninstall Flash Player, simply download the appropriate uninstaller for your system and follow the instructions listed below.

When did they stop including an uninstaller in their distribution???

Computer Log | Tsiolkovksy Log

5 July 2006

Note to self. The following phrase will never make you cool.

Me: “I mean, c’mon. My pants repel water.”

Don’t make my mistakes, people! Come here for the worldly experience, stay for the dry monkey!

Notes To Self

Improv Anywhere: The MP3 Experiment III: The Search For Steve.

Web Log

6 July 2006

Jim opens up his Second Annual Tour De France Comment Thread.

Web Log

iPod Playlist: 2006-07-05 Shuffle

I seem to be back into a rut; all I did was remove the girl bands from the Memorial Day mix and add in some more Trip sound effects.

Any recommendations?

iPod Log

7 July 2006

Unqualified Offerings: 2006: A “Blogofascist” Oddity.

Web Log

Guy Kawasaki: The 120 Day Wonder and The 10/20/30 Rule of Powerpoint.

I saw Guy talking about the 10/20/30 rule in his video for the Art of the Start video, and I’m glad he has it as a post. (If nothing else, it’s much easier to link to.)

Web Log

What do we love? FIREWIRE! When? RIGHT NOW!

If I have not mentioned it before now, let me take the opportunity to say:


I don’t just like it. I LOVE it. It’s reduced my backup times to practically nothing. 7GB DVD files? Yeah, transfered in 5 minutes.

I have been using the MacAlly PHR-100AC USB 2.0/Firewire external drive enclosures on 250 GB Seagate 7200 Barracudas as my backup drives. One was running USB 2.0 only (due to a misset Master/Slave jumper, which I think causes most of the problems for people upgrading) and one running Firewire 400.

It was really sad to watch the same backup routine finish so much faster using Firewire. Firewire! Firewire! Huzzah, Firewire!

(Did I mention Trip is teething, and my sleep patterns are somewhat disrupted? Probably should have said something about that before.)

(Yes dear, I’m going to sleep now.)

Computer Log

9 July 2006

This is pretty cool: Creating a Log file with Notepad.

Web Log

Also cool, from Hawk Wings: Innovative email client design: Thinking outside the Outlook box.

Web Log

Interesting points by Seth Godin: The Trend to ‘Best Available’.

(I will leave it as an excerise to the reader as to why this particular article is appropriate right now.)

Web Log

11 July 2006

technorati claiming, nothing to see here.

Site Log

My neighbor has taken to running on his treadmill at 6:05 every morning. This takes place in the room right next to Trip’s, so there’s this wonderful thump thump thump thump that usually brings him awake. (Loudly, I might add. Shared walls suck.)

To compensate, we’ve been putting the baby to bed at 7pm, which has had some success. Not a lot, but some. This teething, though, has got Trip all discombobulated. He was up and down all night.

This morning, the floor went thump thump thump thump. I got up. And the baby didn’t stir.

Hamana what?

6:47, no more thump thump thump.

7am came and went, still nothing.

7:12, he decided to start talking.

7:25, he decided to tell jokes to himself and laugh.

7:30, kicking his legs. Going abababababababa. Did I mention that he has 8 teeth now? With more on the way?

7:32. Can’t believe I’m liveblogging my son’s wakeup routine.

7:37. Inbox empty. Working on essay. Son still making happy noises. At what point do I go get him up? 8?

7:44. It’s really interesting to hear him try out different sounds. He’s got some words down pat (“Up!” “Out!”) but he really seems to be working on sentences. He has a passable “I love you,” and

7:45. Time to go.

Personal Log

Via 27B Stroke 6 (among others), an excellent primer from Ed Felten on net neutrality.

Web Log

12 July 2006

How could I have missed the source for the Yahoo! Widgets Traffic Map?

Car Log

Via jwz, Monkeys Taught Game Theory, Whoreing.

Web Log

13 July 2006

Holy crap.

We got it.

Personal Log

This story was literally dropped on my desk today. Wall Street Journal: Rice University Revives Its Press In Digital Model

One of the nation’s most prestigious universities is resurrecting its defunct academic press online — a move that adds a new wrinkle to the debate over who will profit from Web publishing.

Rice University in Houston will today announce plans to relaunch its Rice University Press — a money-losing venture that went out of business 10 years ago — under a new all-digital model. Although the new press will solicit and edit manuscripts the old-fashioned way, it won’t produce traditional books. The publishing house will instead post works online at a new Web site, where people can read a full copy of the book free. They can also order a regular, bound copy from an on-demand printer, at a cost far less than picking up the book in a store.

“Our overriding mission is to make this scholarship available for free,” says Joey King, executive director of Connexions, the Rice Web-publishing platform that will serve as the new press’s backbone. The nonprofit Connexions, founded in 1999 by a Rice engineering professor, offers free downloadable educational course materials on everything from electrical engineering to music theory.

Web Log

I am glad to see that Amalah was added to Guy Kawasaki’s Ultimate Mommy Blog List.

Web Log

14 July 2006

In case you need it: A Guide to Texas Blackberries.

Web Log

How did I miss this one? Diet Coke and Mentos:


Dell’s new customer service blog serves up a post on magic wands, which are unfortunately in short supply.

Web Log

15 July 2006

Via Guy Kawasaki, Stanford Magazine’s Kids Today special issue is quite good.

Web Log

How did I miss posting this one? Via Hawk Wings, one of the best email management posts I’ve read in months. Forget all that GTD methodology, because you need one button: The Delete Key, your best friend.

(Okay, the Ctrl-Shift-V, T shortcut is also really handy. Holy moly, Outlook is usable again!)

Web Log

Why Skype is Bad:

I’ve used Skype. And I like it. It has a really simple user interface and does what it promises very well. The call quality is generally great, but I’ve now uninstalled it from all my PCs preferring instead to use the new Windows Live Messenger client. Why? Because Skype, for all its merits, can start behaving as a bandwidth hungry super-node. What does that mean? It means that with Skype installed and running my internet bandwidth was potentially being used by other Skype users without my knowing about it. Which could mean that my PCs consume more electricity and I suffer a slower internet connection. Not exactly the reasons I signed up in the first place.

Web Log


While composing a different post, I ran across jwz’s problem with loading images in Safari, which sounded eerily like my own issues.

Seems to be related: I have a single River of News button that gets all my daily RSS feeds. When I hit it, it can take forever to load, and when it’s loading, all my other tabs are FUBARed.

No fix.


Computer Log

software that doesn't suck, 2006.

It’s been a while since I switched from Linux to Mac OS X, and a week ago I got a new Windows laptop at work which needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. So: it’s time to review some software.

Mac OS X

I confess: I use a lot of the default Apple software. I started out fresh last November and gave the prepackaged software a try before switching back to my Open Source standbys.


Encryption and Security:



Yah. I still use Windows at work. Here’s what I’m using these days.

Okay, lazyweb: let me know what else I’m missing!

Computer Log | Hithlum Log | Mozilla Log

16 July 2006

Finally! Pictures from Scotland, now with 100% more raptor!

Web Log

Oh dear. Secret Society and Last but not Leashed, by Scott Adams.

Web Log

Via Dave Winer, Target is now offering an RSS feed of their weekly specials.


Web Log

17 July 2006

In lieu of the longer post about Mail and iCal I promised yesterday: MailTags makes sense and is immediately useful, Mail Act-On is less so. I’ll give it a few days and see if I ‘get it.’

(It took me easily a month to get Quicksilver, so I’m willing to give things a little bit of time before ploinking them now.)

Computer Log

Now, this sounds promising: Send a Calendar via Email in Outlook 2007

I’m busy testing the latest dogfood version of the new 2007 Microsoft Office system. As I journey ever deeper into the new applications in the system I’m uncovering some really neat features. One of my favourites is Outlook 2007’s new Send a Calendar via Email feature which allows you to, er, well, send a calendar via email.

Web Log

iCal day!

Tim Gaden over at Hawk Wings reminds us that today is iCal day, the date displayed by default on the iCal icon. He offers some timely add-ons to make iCal better to celebrate.

Oddly enough, I just noticed that I mention calendars in all of today’s posts.

Computer Log

jwz: obsolete ways of thinking

This has made me see the error of my ways: what the hell was I thinking, trying to store things that I care about on little plastic discs? Haven’t I learned this lesson many times over already? Why yes. Yes, I have. I should have been storing them as normal files in my well-backed-up home directory all along, just like I do with music.

Web Log

18 July 2006

Argh. Apple Mail phones home too.

ach time I reply to a message, Mail attempts to contact an Apple server through port 80. That’s not a problem at home, but it is at work, where the proxy redirects all HTTP traffic through another port. Mail didn’t respect my proxy settings. It carried on regardless with a process that eventually failed after lengthy delay.

One we understood the problem, we could google for an answer. It turns out that Jonathan Wight experienced the same thing “a year ago” He also provides a fix: delete the ~/Library/Preferences/ preferences file.

I came across this in my browsing tonight, but I can’t find the source: Why Are Americans So Angry?

Web Log

Night Daisies

Found on flickr:

Night Daisies

Night Daisies |
Originally uploaded by Thomas Hawk.

I love the colors on this one.

Web Log

19 July 2006

Via Jeff: Repair Clinic.


House Log

20 July 2006

Via Boingx2, YouTube, what the hell are you thinking?

“…by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube’s (and its successor’s) business… in any media formats and through any media channels.”

Nice way to kill the business, guys!

Web Log


Does Zooomr love bloggers? Yes, enough to give away free pro accounts if you have your own blog (and post a picture hosted on Zooomr.) Sounds fair enough, right?

Unfortunately, I can’t get the login registration to actually work, which doesn’t bode well. Hmmmm. Fixed now. Looks like a webserver hiccup. The problem when everything is beta…

Site looks very Flickr-like, but without some of the T&C nonsense.

Did I ever post this one before?

cathedral stairs.cathedral stairs. Hosted on Zooomr

Must go now. Trip teething. Requires rocking. More on photos later.

Update: Ars Technica pretty much covers it.

Web Log

21 July 2006

Interesting, via 37Signals: CSS Browser Selector.

Web Log

22 July 2006


6 hours of sleep this afternoon and I’m still not feeling better.


Personal Log

Did I really just spend 10 minutes reading about squid?

I guess I did.

Web Log

Now trying: Democracy, an internet TV player.

(Via Boing Boing).

Computer Log

I’m all for swtiching to Macs, but this parody of those )(*@#$!@ ads has it just about right.

(More on Jeff Sandquist’s site.)

Web Log

Oh dear lord: The Daily Show Explains Net Neutrality.

Web Log

New Bookdragon Tales: The Truth About Everything.

Other Sites Of Mine

The Truth About Everything

The Truth About Everything by Matthew Stewart

I had never heard of The Truth About Everything when my wife gave it to me for my birthday in 1997. She was not yet my wife, but she already knew what kind of book I liked.

Moreover, she knew that I didn’t know about this book, which made it the perfect gift. Merrystar has done that to me a few times over the years, but this book and my atlas remain the two best examples of her insight into my reading preferences. They remind me how lucky I really am.

The book’s premise is simple enough: philosophy is a form of mysticism, the search for the mystic truth underlying all existence. It doesn’t matter that philosophy couches its search in terms of rationality and logic: ultimately, the goal remains mystical. It’s an intruiging premise, engagingly written, and more interesting than a philosophy book has a right to be.

Of course, it also speaks to the strong anti-intellectual intellectual streak in me. But it remains one of the most surprisingly wonderful books my wife has ever given me, and for that it’s got a permanent place in my collection.

The Truth About Everything appears to be out of print, but if you can find a copy, I recommend picking it up.

The Bookdragon Tales

The saga of the yellow balloon.

The saga begins.


skyyyellowballoon | Originally uploaded by banjocat.

(First in a series.)

Personal Log

24 July 2006

Is Don Norman right about Google?

Web Log

Sweet. Hacked Ad Seen on MySpace Served Spyware to a Million.

An online banner advertisement that ran on and other sites over the past week used a Windows security flaw to infect more than a million users with spyware when people merely browsed the sites with unpatched versions of Windows, according to data collected by iDefense, a Verisign company.

Michael La Pilla, an iDefense “malcode” analyst, said he first spotted the attack Sunday while browsing MySpace on a Linux-based machine. When he browsed a page headed with an ad for, his browser asked him whether he wanted to open a file called exp.wmf. Microsoft released a patch in January to fix a serious security flaw in the way Windows renders WMF (Windows Metafile) images, and online criminal groups have been using the flaw to install adware, keystroke loggers and all manner of invasive software for the past seven months.

Security Theater

What makes a good icon?

Web Log

Presentation Zen on Speaking extemporaneously, tubes, and ninjas. For real. Could I make this up?

Web Log

25 July 2006

Via UO, Bellwether.

Web Log

26 July 2006

I’ve been looking for a counterpart to PDFCreator on the Mac. CUPS-PDF might be it.

Computer Log

Oooo. Minimalist sandbox.

(Via Jim).

Web Log

27 July 2006

Jim Henley: Agh! Floyd!
Brett Peters: Floyd!
Brett Peters: I share your outrage.
Jim Henley: I am heartsick. I need to lie down.

The Sky Is Falling

Help (fellow ex-Trilogian) Jeremy Blachman bring down The Sonoma Diet.

Web Log

28 July 2006

Oh dear. For the Iron Chef Meat: BBQ Zen.

Web Log

When you have a bad day, make it your own.

Web Log

Boing Boing: New Bravia Ad. This one, in Glasgow.


Web Log

jwz: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

Web Log

29 July 2006

There are times that I consider adding comments back into this weblog.

Then I go read some political sites and remember that there are really good reasons why I turned them off in the first place.

Site Log

You ever go searching the web for a post you know is out there, somewhere, that you remember reading on a specific person’s site? But then you can’t find it, even after a hour of searching instead of sleeping?

And then you find an absolute gem of a link?

(Perhaps sleep would have been a better choice.)

Web Log

jwz: Stargate Command to close. No, really!

Web Log

31 July 2006

Rubber Ducky Intrigue.

Rubber Ducky Intrigue
Rubber Ducky Intrigue | Originally uploaded by jurvetson.

“Does it quack?”

“Of course it quacks.”

Via SVN, the Ariel Atom, with 600hp/ton.

Car Log

Via Boing Boing, Diebold Voting Machines can be beaten with a flip of a switch..

Upon examining the inner workings of one of the most popular paperless touch screen voting machines used in public elections in the United States, it has been determined that with the flip of a single switch inside, the machine can behave in a completely different manner compared to the tested and certified version.

“Diebold has made the testing and certification process practically irrelevant,” according to Dechert. “If you have access to these machines and you want to rig an election, anything is possible with the Diebold TS — and it could be done without leaving a trace. All you need is a screwdriver.” This model does not produce a voter verified paper trail so there is no way to check if the voter’s choices are accurately reflected in the tabulation.

Security Theater

New Bookdragon Tale: Murder in Mesopotamia.

Other Sites Of Mine

Murder in Mesopotamia

Murder in Mesopotamia, by Agatha Christie

I picked this book up this weekend at my favorite used bookstore in Williamsburg. I was looking for some light reading to counterbalance some of the history books I’d gotten, and I’ve not yet gone wrong with Agatha Christie. (Of course, I’ve only read Murder on the Orient Express… But still!)

I swear that I’ve read this one before.

But I can’t for the life of me remember doing it.

Usually, I forget the contents of a book, but remember the fact of reading it. This sometimes leads to awkward conversations with fans of those forgotten books as they try to tell me all about some specific element that I haven’t thought about in years.

So it was very strange to announce, midway through the book, that I knew precisely who did it. And that not that, I knew who was the German spy, and who was the red herring. Merrystar asked me why I thought this, and the best I could say is that he wasn’t on the list of suspects. My answer satisfied no one.

I didn’t know the how, but I was absolutely convinced of the who. I have to assume that I’ve either read it or watched it before, because to believe otherwise means that I simply figured it out. By page 50. So I assume that I’ve read it before and blocked it out.

Isn’t that interesting?

The Bookdragon Tales

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June 2006


This is: brett's logjam → July 2006.

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August 2006