Monday, September 30, 2002

 Watch out for the gybe when they reach the lay line on the starboard tack.

Here we go. Today is the start of the 2003 Americas Cup. On the Outdoor Life Channel at 9 ET tonight we have the first races of the Louis Vuitton Challenges. Over the next few months these will decide what team/nation will take on New Zealand, the Defender, in February 2003.

I'm finding that U.S. media coverage of this is pretty sparse. This New Zealand paper is pretty good.

::posted by Jack at 4:19 PM

Sunday, September 29, 2002

 Keepin' Busy

Friday night I went to hear James Carville talk in Concord. It was a small Democratic Party fundraiser that was mostly attended by the NH Democratic faithful. Carville spoke for just a few minutes, talking about his wife, the "the Sunnunu kid", and the different relationship he believes Democrats and Republicans have with Power.

Saturday was the Prescott Park Chili Festival. I helped out with setup and then wheedled my way into being a judge. I enjoyed it, but it turns out to be a bit of a challenge to sample 12 chilis in about 30 minutes. We ended up selecting the Portsmouth Gaslight as the best.

Later on Sat. I drove down to Boston to see my friend Sherm who is in town to deal with some family business. We wandered Harvard Square, and had dinner at the junkiest Chinese restaurant we could find. The pink front restaurant at the east end of the Sq. We had been disappointed to discover that our previous, and long-time, favorite junky Chinese food place, on Church Street, was gone. So much is changed in H. Sq. since our hey-day there.

::posted by Jack at 2:53 PM

Thursday, September 26, 2002

 When I was a kid, my friend Mark and I used to joke about puddles hiding an "open manhole cover". This is sorta what we were talking about.

http://www.minca.cz/suzuki/

::posted by Jack at 9:57 AM

 Non-Sequitor?

Drunken forest-fire-fighters in the operating theatre???

I guess that this is actually a serious story about a real danger, but I kept reading the headline over and over trying to figure out what it meant.

"Fire Service warns of alcohol danger during surgery."

::posted by Jack at 1:09 AM

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

 I've been doing alot of thinking today about the new world of intellectual property. I'd like to write some essays about my ideas. I think there would be three of them. In no particular order they are "The Economics of Star Trek's Replicator", "Information Grey Goo", and "Past, Present & Future. On the Internet Only the Latter Two Have Value."

In Replicator I'll talk about the business model, or lack of one, of one of Star Trek's most pervasive bits of technology. The specific technology may still be a few years off, but the economic challenges are here today and threaten to fundamentally change the way creative works are made.

Grey Goo is an examination of what could happen to the nature of popular entertainment if unrestricted file sharing is allowed.

PP&P is a look at how the value of information and content are changing in this new economy of p2p file sharing.

More later.

::posted by Jack at 7:59 PM

 Doc Searls often points to Moxie's blog, and though I've occassionally checked it out, it hasn't captured me yet. But this morning I read this there and it made me LOL:

"Why aren't there people who refuse to eat vegetables? 'No please, no asparagus for me...I only eat animal products'"

It's time to add her to the rotation.

...

Just reading more of Moxie, and she tells a wonderful story of how she crashed the 1999 Emmy Awards Party at Spagos.

"Not even thinking I went right over to the table at the start of the red carpet. The ladies smiled at me and I smiled back,

Im Moxie, I said without a quiver."


::posted by Jack at 10:47 AM

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

 An Upbeat Ending

The Red Sox season is winding down. We aren't eliminated yet, but it's really just a matter of time.

The thing that is some consolation to me, is that this year's team hasn't given up. They are still fighting. Trying hard to win games.

Last year's team literally self-destructed at the end of the season. It was incredibly embarrasing. But not this year.

Maybe we had unrealistic expectations. I read a column that said that winning 40 games so early in the season this year was actually a bad thing. It led us to set unfair goals for this new team. To go from what we were a year ago, to a World Series team, was really a longshot. And not a fair thing to expect of a team.

But now that the season is nearly over it's nice to see them still trying hard. They are playing for pride now. It's a good sign for next year that they still have this much pride right now.

Oh yeah. In tonight's game Boston was ahead going into the bottom of the ninth. Baltimore tied it up. In the 14th inning the Red Sox took the lead, only to be tied up again in the bottom half. But we hung in, and went ahead for good in the 15th. So we still haven't been mathematically eliminated.

It's become kinda important to me that we be eliminated by Anaheim winning, not by us losing. It's a silly little thing, but I don't want the season to "end" as a result of Boston failing to win -- on a down beat. So tomorrow night I'll be rooting for the Angels.

And wait till next year.

::posted by Jack at 12:21 AM

Monday, September 23, 2002

 Hive-Mind Typography

This is kinda cool. Browse over to this site and participate in the creation of a typeface.

Thanks to Boingboing for the link.

::posted by Jack at 12:16 PM

 What the heck was I doing up at 4:30 in the morning?

::posted by Jack at 10:09 AM

 Google News

Google has enhanced the look and feel of its news summary page.

"This page was generated entirely by computer algorithms without human editors. No humans were harmed or even used in the creation of this page."

::posted by Jack at 4:36 AM

Sunday, September 22, 2002

 Spread Out!

This is what I've been saying for years: Dan Gilmour:

"We need to get the species off the planet, and quickly, or at least enough of the species to save it if the worst happens here.

It's not just planet-killer asteroids. It's the potential for other kinds of threats, including bio-terrorism and scientific mistakes."


::posted by Jack at 12:06 PM

 Blogrolling

There are a bunch of websites that I try to look at more or less every day. I used to keep them in there own folder on my IE Toolbar Favorites, but I found that I would favor the ones at the top of the list and visit the ones lower down much less often.

Being the Geek that I am did some scripting to solve the problem. I created a special list which I call the rotation. Then I wrote a php script that causes my browser to display the next site in the list.

This is working well. I started it back in the Spring with about 10 sites. I've added and deleted sites since then, and there's now 54 in the list. I don't get around to them all every day anymore. It takes 2-3 days to work through them normally, sometimes more, sometimes less. But I no longer avoid the ones "low" on the list, and that means I'm catching more of the little gems.

Most weblogs have a list in their sidebar of other weblogs that they like. I haven't gotten around yet to adding that to this new version of my blog. I couldn't decide how to create the right list. But then it occured to me that I already have. My rotation list is the thing.

So soon I will create a script that adds my rotation list to the sidebar. Stay tuned.

::posted by Jack at 11:10 AM

 Both Feet Firmly Planted in the Last Century

Yesterday I sat down and did some maintenance on my primary computer that I've been putting off for YEARS. I upgraded to Mac OS 9.2.

The main reason I've procrastinated about this for so long is that I wanted to reformat the drive at the same time, and I have an extreme phobia about clicking that "erase everything on the drive" button. So I've been avoiding it. But for some reason, I was feeling courageous/reckless yesterday, so I did it.

All-in-all it took like 4-5 hours to accomplish.

First I did a full Finder-backup to another drive. Actually it was a backup to another Mac via an ethernet connection, so THAT took awhile. Then I discovered that the 9.1 CD I had couldn't be booted from. So I installed 9.1 to an external drive I had and booted from IT.

Now the time had come. Was I really ready to click the "reformat" button?

Well, after confirming three times that my files were on the other machine, and actually going to physically LOOK AT that machine, twice... I clicked the button.

For a process that has such destructive power, it didn't take very long at all. A few seconds after I clicked, it replied, "Reformat complete." Anticlimactic!

Next I downloaded the 9.2.1 upgrade from the Apple site. Installed that. And now began the process of restoring my stuff. So far it's all gone fine. My apps all seem to be functioning properly. I restored my email archive and browser bookmarks with no problem.

Along the way I upgraded the included version 4 of Quicktime to version 6, I installed iTunes, and I started to move my System enhancements over.

The machine still doesn't feel quite back to normal yet, but it's getting there, and I'd not encountered the catastrophe that I'd feared.

One annoying side-effect, minor but annoying, is that every 2-5 minutes I getting a little freeze-up. The mouse and sound freeze for about 2 secs. Then it unfreezes and continues no problem. I noticed this morning that it even caches keystrokes during the freeze and spits them out after the thaw. It lasts just long enough to be noticable and I get annoyed by it just as it thaws. I can live with it but I want to figure it out eventually. The suspects right now are the intellipoint optical mouse, and... well I suspected iTunes, but it's not running yet this morning and it's still happening, so I guess that's not it. Maybe I should download the latest intellipoint driver, see if that helps.

Anyway. All is well, mostly.

Next, OS X... but not right now.

::posted by Jack at 9:25 AM

Saturday, September 21, 2002

 I just saw on the PPI website that they decided to shut the place down. That's really too bad. Even though it was so mismanaged over the past few years, there is a real demand for the things they do. I wonder who will step in to pick up where they leave off. Maybe I should.

I really wish I knew what was so bad that they couldn't just cut way back and keep going. Must talk to Barbara.

::posted by Jack at 8:06 AM

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

 Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo:

Thus far war on terrorism jurisprudence hasn't so much been draconian or lax as it has been a rather comical make-it-up-as-you-go-along affair.

John Walker Lindh, a US citizen, gets a straightforward civilian trial. Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen, gets a straightforward civilian trial. Jose Padilla, a US citizen, is held indefinitely and without counsel as an enemy combatant. Yasir Hamdi, another US citizen, is also an enemy combatant being held indefinitely, but he may get a lawyer. The folks down in Guantanamo, well, who knows?


::posted by Jack at 9:13 AM

Monday, September 16, 2002

 The rain disappointed again. It rained some during the night, and it sprinkled a bit during today, but no downpour. There's what appears to be a big t-storm off to the west. But it appears to be sliding by us.

::posted by Jack at 6:12 PM

Sunday, September 15, 2002

 Well, the storm was a big dud.

It's been overcast and occasional light rain all day. But I was expecting (hoping for) a torrential downpour.

I mean, that's one of the benefits of being back here in New England. If I have to put up with the pestilance and humidity, well at least I want to see some good weather.

The forecast is still for heavy rain tonight and tomorrow. Maybe there's still hope.

::posted by Jack at 8:23 PM

 The forecast is for a pretty big storm starting later today. Three different storm systems are gonna meet up and hit us hard, or so they say. Right now it is overcast but warm. And the wind is picking up.

::posted by Jack at 10:21 AM

 Today is the last day of the "milfoil" "doing weeds" project.

This summer I spent approx 240 hours sitting at boat launch ramps. Some of that time was very interesting. Some was mind-numbingly boring. All in all it was a good thing. We're writing a report on the whole thing and when it's done I'll post a pointer to it.

::posted by Jack at 10:17 AM

Thursday, September 12, 2002

 The Register is reporting this story: "MS intros ultra-liberal 'write your own licence' scheme."

It seems that there's a bug in this Microsoft webpage, and the text of the license agreement is editable. Wouldn't it be cool if that were legally binding? Anyway, MS will probably have fixed the bug by the time you see this.

::posted by Jack at 9:46 AM

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

 I did something today that I haven't done in years, maybe never. I voted in a Primary election.

I've always been a faithful voter in General Elections, but I'd always resisted categorizing myself as a member of a particular party. My politics and values have never fit easily into either of the two main parties. So I didn't vote in the Primaries.

Two things led me to change my mind.

One is that the TV show 'The West Wing' painted a picture of party politics as being more relevant and accessible than I'd ever imagined. The other thing was the fiasco of the 2000 Presidential Election results. After the Bush camp captured the Presidency the way they did, I decided that it was important to do whatever I could to make sure that didn't happen again.

But the first thing I had to do is figure whether I was a Democrat or a Republican.

All my life my views on issues of the day have been... diverse. I've supported both Republican and Democratic candidates. As well as the occcasional 3rd and 4th party offering. My friends probably think I'm a Republican, my parents think I'm a Democrat. I wasn't 100% sure myself.

How to decide. As an experiment I said out loud, "I am a Republican... I am a Democrat." Neither of these gave me a real warm, fuzzy feeling.

I've always known that whichever I was, I was toward the "center". So I tried these two labels: "I am a liberal Republican... I am a conservative Democrat."

Bingo!

Today, for the first time in many years I voted in a Primary election. I voted in the Democratic Primary.

Whichever you are, go vote. The greatest lesson from Florida in the Fall of 2000 was that ONE vote CAN make a difference.

::posted by Jack at 3:04 PM

Monday, September 09, 2002

 Here's some GeekMeet stuff I put together last year. I'm moving it here for archival reasons.

An unordered collection of Geek Stuff

Magic Wheel Chair (posted 1/2/01)
I (Jack Hodgson hodgson@da4.com) took these pics at the EAA Convention in Oshkosh, WI in Aug. 2000:

weirdchair1.jpg
weirdchair2.jpg

Ronald Gehrmann gehrmann@metaglyph.com added:

Following up on Jack's message, here's the official product Web site with
more info about this amazing invention:

http://www.indetech.com/productfunction.html

...and an MSNBC report:

http://www.msnbc.com/news/285231.asp


And River Brandon river@unit-e.com added:

there was a good article about this guy a while back in wired, too. good
read if you can find a copy.

::posted by Jack at 1:35 PM

 From the Prairie Home Companion Joke Show:

I went out with twins last night.
Did you have a good time?
Well, yes and no.

::posted by Jack at 3:22 AM

 This is gonna be a weird week.

Later this week will be the first anniversary of the September 11 2001 attacks on America. I'm still not certain what I will be doing that day, but I am a little concerned that the public, the media and our leaders are ignoring the true dangers of this anniversary.

Everyone seems to be anticipating it as a sort of somber holiday, on which we will memorialize the victims and celebrate our patriotism. I think that we are unprepared for the very real possibility that as the date approaches we will all begin to suffer some disturbing anxiety as the memories of the trauma return.

When I lived in California, a regular part of anticipating the anniversary of a big earthquake was warning people that they might experience a form of post traumatic stress. I believe that this kind of stress will affect us this week, and that we are not prepared for it.

I'm approaching Sep 11 2002 cautiously. I want to remember the fallen and comfort the hurt. But I also want to protect myself from unnecesarily reliving the horror of that day.

::posted by Jack at 2:50 AM

Sunday, September 08, 2002

 Some useless skills are cooler than others: "The competitive sport of Cup Stacking"

::posted by Jack at 8:20 PM

Thursday, September 05, 2002

 My pants keep falling down.

For the past month I have been doing a fitness program that involves more exercise (bike riding), and eating better (less carbs and junk fats, more protein and fruits/veggies). It seems to be working. Although I am only down 5 lbs, I have lost almost an inch on my waist. So my pants keep trying to fall down.

Oh yeah, it's also 'cause I left my belt behind at the hotel in California.

::posted by Jack at 1:04 AM

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

 I took the test. It seems I am a DREAMER (Submissive Introvert Abstract Feeler )

Like just 11% of the population you are a DREAMER (SIAF)--reserved and imaginative. You are basically the shy, silent type. You don't have much interest in facts and figures or most of what's going on around you, but the internal worlds you build for yourself are rich and complex.
Luckily, your creativity and strong heart mean you have a deep personality evident to anyone who gets to know you. It's just that not many people do, because most everyone thinks you're a loser. Talk to yourself less, other people more, little shaver.

::posted by Jack at 6:20 PM

 booboolina.com:

Moving is a lot like drinking too much. I have all these bruises I can't explain, and I don't know where any of my sh*t is.

::posted by Jack at 5:50 PM

 Harry Potter broomstick toy. It seems that kids -- boys and girls of all ages -- love it. It VIBRATES!!!

"When my 12 year old daughter asked for this for her birthday, I kind of wondered if she was too old for it, but she seems to LOVE it. Her friends love it too! They play for hours in her bedroom with this great toy. They really seem to like the special effects it offers (the sound effects and vibrating). My oldest daughter (17) really likes it too! I reccomend this for all children."

::posted by Jack at 3:24 PM

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

 I've been away all weekend at Jo Ann and Rick's wedding. It was a really nice time. I've written some stuff about it that I'll cleanup and post soon.

::posted by Jack at 12:45 AM



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