Archive for April, 2002


You gotta love a band with a name like Jahlamallawalla.

For some reason I’ve got “They Might Be Giants” (the song, not the band. It’s on Flood. ) running through my head. It’s been happening since the weekend. Good thing it’s on my iTunes….

At long last, it’s springtime. We’ve now had 2.5 wonderful weather days in a row, so I guess that marks the transition. It seems a month or more later than the last few years. I’ve just started getting a bit of gardening in. The cover crop was turned over and dug in a couple of weeks ago, it’s just itching for plantings right about now.

But I’m waiting on a big load of compost and top soil, which in turn is waiting on clearing the area for new raised beds. One bed is complete and roughly in the right place, the other should go together tomorrow night. The beds should be perfect for crops that need a bit of protection from cold or animal pests. I’m planning on strawberries in one, covered by netting (squirrels, birds). The other will probably be tomatoes, then I’ll rotate in zucchini (squirrels like the flowers) next year. If the netting doesn’t work, then I’ll go to wire.

*** Breaking!

Max Headroom is going to be run again. On TechTV. This is the first show in a long time that has made me want a TV. Cable even. So now, what about a DVD? (or something else that I can play on a tibook?)


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{dlConnectMacros.prefsFormLink(“Edit Prefs”)}

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  • Finding an open source aol im client in python: 2 minutes
  • Googling for an eliza script in python: 5 minutes
  • Hooking them together: 15 minutes
  • Having boss chat you and need to perform a Turing test: Priceless.

There are some things money really can’t buy. (aim:esoroos3)

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Wierd Noises

I’m not sure why, but the construction site across the street has been making noises that sound exactly like a hard drive about to die all day.

Library construction, with concrete pump.

It must be the concrete pumper, or maybe the (concrete) vibrator. (Get your mind out of the gutter. I know I’m going to go to disturbing search result hell for this, but after you place concrete, you need to vibrate it so that the air bubbles can escape and the fresh concrete can ooze around all of the rebar. And I’m not going to make things worse my mentioning the 2 brands of concrete pumps)

But to someone who is surrounded by hard drives and has had a few drives go bad, that sound instantly grabs your attention. Every time it happens.

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Manila NewsItems Rpc Interface

There is an interface to manila’s news items at ManilaSuite.rpcHandlers.newsItems that contains create, delete, and edit handlers. I had reason to use these today, but it appears that these aren’t quite ready for prime time.

1) ManilaSuite.rpcHandlers.newsItem.edit has two errors. It encodes entities that are then encoded again in the tableToXml function. This has the effect of neutering all links, which is not desired. It also does not update the subject of the post when you update the title of the news item. I’ve made a patch for these bugs using my patch tool.

2) There’s no glue in frontier or radio, to the best of my knowlege. I’ve hacked up a glue table to live at system.verbs.apps.manila.newsItem that follows the standard calling conventions.

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Burn Baby Burn Playlist

My Playlist for my Burn Baby Burn entry. If you’re expecting a cd from me, listen first, then look.
Sorry to those who were expecting cover art, the individualized sharpie on polycarbonate artwork just didn’t make the transition to sharpie on glass monitor well.

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Playlist -Burn Baby Burn

  1. Summertime — Janis Joplin
  2. Ripple — Grateful Dead
  3. Boy from Tupelo — Emmylou Harris
  4. Heaven — Talking Heads
  5. Hello My Baby — Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  6. Too Darn Hot — Ella Fitzgerald
  7. Oh Maria — The Paperboys
  8. Late In the Evening — Paul Simon
  9. Istanbul (Not Constantinople) — They Might Be Giants
  10. Amorosa — Omar Torrez
  11. Back to the Garden — Jason Webley
  12. (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville — R.E.M.
  13. All Around The World Or The Myth of Fingerprints — Paul Simon
  14. The Big Country — Talking Heads
  15. Tea In The Sahara — The Police


  1. Summertime — nearly too easy to choose. Janis Joplin’s version of this standard is the feel of a summer afternoon when things are a bit too hot. a little languid, a little edgy. I was considering one of two Ella Fitzgerald versions, but they didn’t have the tension that Janis adds.
  2. Ripple — Moving towards evening. Calming, cooling. Probably my favorite Dead song.
  3. Boy from Tupelo — It’s hard to describe this one, other than it seems to fit the mood from the previous two songs, and I needed something like that.
  4. Heaven — Is this heaven, no it’s Iowa. Vacations can be a place where nothing ever happens.
  5. Hello my Baby — I saw Ladysmith Black Mombaso at Bumbershoot a couple of years ago, this song gets me every time.
  6. Too Darn Hot — What happens to love in a climate where there’s no air conditioning.
  7. Oh Maria — Another Bumbershoot selection, this one from a local band. I remember dancing to this in hot, crowded, midday shows.
  8. Late in the Evening — Summer, Evening, Clubs.
  9. Istanbul — I’m thinking silly pop songs here. Since I only got the album recently, I haven’t lived through a summer with it, but it feels right.
  10. Amorosa — Another local band, Afro cuban flamenco funk. But I’ve gone on and on about Omar here before.
  11. Back to the Garden — Yet another local performer who’s train only runs in the summertime. He is reborn every year on May 1, and dies on Halloween. When you listen to this, imagine a guy with an accordion, busking at a festival or on a street corner, waving a large beet on a stick.
  12. Rockville — End of the summer. Can’t go back, have to go forward.
  13. All Around the World… — Elvis is a watermelon. It’s all an illusion. All a memory. From perhaps the only album that I’ve bought on tape, lp and cd.
  14. The Big Country — That is what the US looks from the air.
  15. Tea in the Sahara — To be stranded in the desert in eternal summer, waiting for something to happen. All memories fade to a golden glow of summer, sand and sun.
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Good News Bad News

Well, now you can embed a real text editor in your browser’s textarea widget. Too bad it’s vi. Since it’s a linux system, I guess the obvious choice is emacs. But then you don’t embed emacs in things, you embed things in emacs.

I remember seeing this ca. 1996, with OpenDoc. Laugh if you will, but I seem to remember using WaV (a word processor, just found the cd again.) in Cyberdog (the browser at the time). Then again, I also remember having a document that was mainly word processing with multiple live instances of web browsers in it. 5 or 10 years from now, OpenDoc will be back. It won’t be called OpenDoc, and it probably won’t run in 4 megs of memory, but it will be there.

I actually liked OpenDoc. It made some sense to me. But then again, I learned a long time ago, asking “Do I think this is cool?” does not count as a market survey. Come to think of it, that question is actually more likely to predict market failure.

OpenDoc’s failure was to be a year or two ahead of Hotmail, which I think was the first webapp to really drive people to editing text in a textarea. In OpenDoc’s time, people asked “Why would I want to embed a text editing widget in a document?”. Now people are looking for better text editors for that very thing. Of course OpenDoc had other problems, the main one being that it was supposed to be at the core of everything.

But while editing this on my linux box, I’m thinking that emacs would be real nice right about now. Even WaV.

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More Mixing

The making of a great compilation tape like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick it off with a killer to grab attention. Then you gotta take it up a notch…

Yeah, I’m sounding like I’m in High Fidelity. Top five Song 1, Side 1s. I’ve got 2 song ones and three last songs. A few too many fast ones, and not enough languid ones. And I didn’t get the joke song in at the end of 10 minutes of silence. So I’m still looking for that mix of the not too obvious and the not too obscure in search of the perfect mix tape.

Long Hot Summer Nights (Hendrix Experience) didn’t make it. No Hendrix at all, actually. No Beach Boys, Sitting on the Dock by the Bay, or surf music. Those are far too obvious. No grunge, though Pearl Jam’s Alive goes through my head when climbing mountain passes on my bike. Somehow I also missed the Beatles, Dylan, and Squirrel Nut Zippers. I missed adding something off of Genesis’ Invisible Touch album only because I don’t have a digital copy. That’s one tape that spent long hours in a boat’s tape deck one summer.

Sarah Vowell wrote about mix tapes for hire in Take the Cannoli, not that I understand that particular subsector of the mix world. There’s a RealAudio feed of her performing that on the This American Life website.

Oh well, I guess I have ideas for Summer mix, volume two. Right now, I’m copying for volume one. I have my master, I’m happy with it. Had a few technical snags (8 coasters and counting), but I’ve had 2 good burns in a row. This would have been much easier if I had gotten the combo drive in the tibook, instead of just the dvd player. The result would probably be better, since I could have matched levels, played with timing, and included an extra song fragment or two. But I couldn’t burn with iTunes, so I make do with what I have.

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Make Music Fast

The time is running down for Burn Baby Burn. 5 cds, 15 tracks each (for me), to be sent to webloggers across the nation. I’m listening to a candidate golden master right now.

Reminds me of something that I posted to usenet back in the day when I read rec.audio.*. Google doesn’t have my post, but like all things on usenet, it wasn’t all that unique.


[1] Immediately mail a DAT containing one note or tone to the first 5 names listed below, starting at number 1 through number 5. SEND DAT ONLY. (Total investment: 5 notes)

The perfect sendup of the make money fast posts that were sent around usenet about every 5 minutes. I even got a couple people to flame me for it.

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