Archive for June, 2002



June 30, 2002

Yet another sign of the coming appocalypse has manifested itself. I have been slashdotted!

For those of you unfamiliar with the term I shall explain. Slashdot is a news / discussion web site popular among the techie set. I post comments in the discussions there often. But Slashdot is so popular that sometimes when it reports something about an organization with a web site, that web site gets hammered with a ton of traffic by the entire slashdot reader community trying to get a look. This results in the web site becoming overwhelmed and, for a time, becoming unreachable. Thus the phenomenon known as “slashdotting,” as in “dude, I went to read the page relevant to the discussion but I couldn’t get there…it was slashdotted!” Organizations with big infrastructure typically can’t be slashdotted. CNN, for example can’t be slashdotted. Many smaller companies and organizations can.

Now back to our story. There was an interesting discussion the other day about digitizing your family photo album. I posted a comment. In the comment I referred to some pictures I’d taken and had posted on the web. Many people read the comment. Many people tried to look at the photos. My account (where my photos are hosted) became unreachable, i.e., “slashdotted”.

In another odd twist of fate, that particular comment raised my slashdot karma up to the maximum of 50! (Karma is a measure of how much – or how little! – your contributions are valued by the other readers.)


Dog Thoughts

June 29, 2002

We’ve been thinking more and more about getting a dog now that we’re moved in. There is the matter of fencing the yard, however, and we’re looking at our options in that regard. Most of the perimiter of the back yard has a 6-foot privacy fence and the few open spots could be dealt with by additional fencing of one type or another, or by invisible, electronic fencing. We’re weighing our options on that one.

With that in the works we’ve been researching for dog breeds, browsing animal shelters and such, trying to discover the perfect dog for us. It’s more difficult than it seems.

For myself, the perfect dog has the following qualities:

1. Medium to large size – no toy or miniature breeds need apply.
2. Emotionally together – no agressive or overly shy dogs, no chance of biting, no excessive barking. Generally speaking, the mellower the better.
3. Moderate exercise needs – one long walk a day and a modest sized yard to run in will have to do for the perfect canine companion.

There are other criteria I could include but you get the idea. I’ll probably get my fencing worked out when finaces allow and then watch the shelters like a hawk, ready to pounce on the perfect pet.

So now that you know what I’m looking for…find me a dog!

Waukesha Humane Animal Welfare Society
Wisconsin Human Society: Milwaukee
Elmbrook Humane Society
Ozaukee Humane Society
The Saint Francis Society
HOPE Safehouse
Dane County Humane Society
And there’s always Petfinder.Org, searchable with my zip code, 53188.


The Old Place, and Film Class

June 25, 2002

I finished cleaning the old place this evening. There wasn’t much to do because my sister-in-law was here earlier in the day cleaning the floors. (Thanks Tracie!) Tomorrow we have a final walkthrough with the landlord. Then we’ll never have to return again. And we’ll get our deposit back.

I promised the kids that I would take them for ice cream when it was all overwith. I intend to keep my promise, too. So tomorrow after the walkthrough we’ll all go down to Mack’s custard stand and get the frozen delights of our choice. Looks like grasshopper day tomorrow. Angela likes those I think.

The movie-making class went well. Today was the first day. The students seem bright and interested and you can’t ask for more than that. I showed them an amature Star Wars fan film called Duality, making sure they saw how storyboarding went into the process. I showed them some sample iMovies, also. Then we discussed movies and watched trailers (including this one!). Tomorrow I’ll demonstrate editing with the iMovie tutorial files and we’ll discuss their film ideas in class.


Future Spielbergs Tomorrow

June 24, 2002

Tomorrow I start teaching digital video editing to high school students here at Marquette. These young people are here participating in our Educational Opportunities Program which caters to students are disadvantaged in some way or who’s parents are not college educated themselves. In any case I’ve met one or two of them and they don’t seem disadvantaged to me – they seem like cream of the crop Marquette recruits. And maybe that’s the idea.

Anyhow, at noon tomorrow I’ll begin teaching them how to make movies. Tomorrow it’ll be introductions, outlines and discussions about storytelling. By the end of July they’ll have made short films which they will then be able to show off to their parents and colleauges at a one-night “film festival.” It should be a fun ride.

I’m reminded of something I heard Francis Ford Coppola say about a year ago in an interview. He basically said that it was great that serious film-making technology had trickled down to consumer-level equipment. He thought that if you put enough of this equipment in the hands of young people, sooner or later you’d get some genius who will blow us all away with his or her amature film.

Perhaps I’ll get one of those this summer. Who knows?


KCRW Radio

June 23, 2002

After hauling appiances and sofa-beds in the unbearable heat and humidity today, I am now taking a well-deserved rest. I’ve showered and eaten and cooled down in the central air-conditioning. And as I sit here relaxing I’m listening to the radio. Internet radio.

Remember I told you about Radio Free Tiny Pineapple? They’re a great eclectic station. Now I’ve found another gem of a station – KCRW out of Santa Monica, CA. It’s like a dream-come-true station: hip, handpicked tunes from real DJs and National Public Radio news!. That’s right – KCRW is a public radio station broadcast from Santa Monica College.

Here’s how they describe themselves – “KCRW, a community service of Santa Monica College, provides more than 450,000 listeners each weeek with an eclectic schedule of news, locally and nationally produced music, public afairs, political analysis and cultural programs.” You really should give it a listen.


Moved In

June 23, 2002

We’re moved in. Everything we own, and we ourselves, are now inside the new house. We started moving in earnest on about Thursday. We moved all the large furniture, the appliances and, well, everything else this morning.

I’m sore and tired. But we managed to nudge our furniture into livable arrangements. It actually looks quite nice, although our living room needs work. And a few new pieces of furniture. And maybe some inspiration. On a brighter note, the office/den area has shaped up nicely. All three bedrooms are looking pretty good also. Once I figure out how to get a box spring up the stairs I’ll have an actual bed instead of a mattress on the floor.

The last awful task before us is cleaning a years-worth of grime from the dark corners of our old place. It looks awful. But it always goes quicker than you expect. Probably because there aren’t any obstacles like furniture. It’s all bare. Anyhow, we plan to take care of that tomorrow evening and perhaps into Tuesday evening. By Wednesday we hope to never have to enter the place again. Wish us luck.

I’m absolutely exhausted. I can’t imagine how I’m going to work all day tomorrow and then do karate when I get home…and then spend all evening in the un-airconditioned old place cleaning. But I will.


I’m baaaack!

June 21, 2002

It’s been less than a day and is back up! I know I said it would likely take 3 days. But fortune was with me in ways I couldn’t have predicted. Here’s the whole crazy deal with moving the computers.

The cable company was set to come this morning. I figured they’d mess everything up and I’d manage to get Road Runner working again after a day on the phone. After that I was sure I’d find that I had a different IP address. That would necessitate me changing the DNS entry for I figured that would take two days minimum to propogate to the extent that you all could just type “” and end up pointed at the new IP address. Still with me?

So what happened was this. THe cable guy came. He fucked everything up by proclaiming my office/den area unfit for the service and instead dragged my modem downstairs to my daughters room where it would be useless to everyone. Later, I got home and surveyed the damage. I moved the modem to where I originally wanted it and – what do you know – it did work there, in spite of the cable tech’s genius assessment.

I immediately plugged the router into it and plugged the laptop into the router…only to discover to my amazement that I had the same IP address as next door. I guess being on the same node or subnet or whatever allows me to keep it. I brought over the web server and plugged it in. had returned.

If you think that was cool check this out. I ordered a new IDE controller and a new hard drive for the blue & white G3 last night at 6:30 pm. I got an email at 9 saying they had shipped already. By 7 am they had arrived in waukesha. By 9 am it had been delivered to my door. All I can say is that ten dollars shipping goes a long way and also that Other World Computing rules.

We’re right in the middle of moving. I’m exhuasted. And the big move is this weekend. Wish me luck.

More soon.