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If wishes were horses... 2004

... I'd be riding, without a head cold*, right down to the southwest to see Rube Waddell and Lord Loves A Working Man taking their fine acts on the road:

Thursday June 3rd - Silverlake Lounge, LA
Friday June 4th - Club Congress, Tucson, AZ with the Molehill Orkestrah (Damn but that sounds like a good show!)
Saturday June 5th - Hot links Bar-BQ in their "favorite little town in the world", Bisbee, AZ
If you or anyone you know is anywhere near those places, get yer asses out for some excellent music.

*Yeah, I'm still sick. Not as sick, but still trying to shake this thing.

Posted on May 30, 2004 at 10:21 PM in music | Permalink | Comments (1)

Not According To Plan 2004

It's a beautiful day and perfect for the activity I'd intended to do - a motorcycle ride with a friend, a little shopping, and then in the evening, a potluck and party. And such a party too, with a theme of Drag, it's bound to be a good time. Hard to go wrong with a room full of giggling boys in dresses and girls with false moustaches.

Alas, it is not to be. Wednesday evening I came down with a head cold and it's been plaguing me since. Achy muscles and head, sneezing, coughing, just general snorkiness all through. So I'm resting, drinking the first of many cups of hot herbal tea, and gazing wistfully at the lovely weather outside.

To distract myself I thought "what better than a big time-consuming game?" and I have a couple for the PC which I haven't played for years, having made the switch to Mac. I thought "well, they're old games, not 3-D shooters or anything, surely they wouldn't be that taxing to the system..." and so laid down my $220+ for VirtualPC. Alas, though they run, they don't run well. Pharoah is terribly slow to respond to mouse-clicks and Grim Fandango has stuttering sound, which is a damned shame because the sound is the best part of the game. I think I probably would need a faster CPU to handle this (I have a 700 MHz PowerPC G4), though maybe more than my 512MB of memory would help too. Can the Mac be made into a decent gaming machine?

Posted on May 29, 2004 at 01:32 PM in games, health, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (8)

Site Downtime 2004

You may have noticed my site (and other TypePad sites) being a little slow lately. That problem will soon go away. Six Apart will be doing a server upgrade Saturday, May 29, 2004, from 12:00am to 2:00am Pacific time during which TypePad sites (and the management interface) will be down.

You'll just have to find something else to do for 2 hours. Suggestions:
- sleep
- dance
- cavort (nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more)
- read a book
- write on paper
- go to a midnight movie
- play a game
- watch the skies

Posted on May 27, 2004 at 09:29 AM in tools | Permalink | Comments (0)

In response to Cameron Moll's post about the 20 designers influencing him most, I left this comment:
I noticed the same thing Molly did. "Where are the women?" but I have been thinking about that a bit lately as I dig deeper into CSS. The people influencing me to do so, who talk about CSS and teach it are mostly men. The women who influence me are mostly doing other things, or at least talking about other things. For example, Heather Champ (visual design) or Christina Wodtke (information design). The biggest muse I have these days for good design and interface usability is Mena Trott and most of her public talking is devoted to business relationship design, to being a CEO.

Posted on May 25, 2004 at 10:21 PM in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

You may not know this, but it is in the standard contract. We are required to say this at least once in each concert. Could I have a little more guitar in the monitor, please?
--Greg Brown

Posted on May 25, 2004 at 10:20 PM in music, quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
--George Bernard Shaw

Posted on May 25, 2004 at 07:30 AM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

100 things about me 2004

[In migrating my content to TypePad I found this draft of a post begun on January 27, 2003]
As often happens, I'm inspired by Lance, so here's some interesting, probably useless facts about me, partially prompted by his list, but mostly not (unless I got stuck).

1. My favorite pets as a child were rats.
2. I like purple pens and will use them preferentially, but am not thrown off balance by the lack of purple pens.
3. I have three grandmas.
4. I tend to crave salty snacks more than sweet snacks, though occasionally an overwhelming urge for really dark chocolate comes over me. For this later weakness I blame my mother since she clearly suffers the same ailment.
5. I'd like to have better fashion sense, but like Gilda Radner, I make many of my choices on what doesn't itch.
6. I have never habitually worn makeup. It's been purely a costume thing.
7. I wish someone made a waterproof phone so I could relax in the bath while catching up with my communication obligations.
8. Flannel sheets over plain cotton, except in the hottest part of summer.
[Here ends the draft dated 6:19pm, January 27, 2003]
9. I like lists.
10. Mono-tasking is too boring.
11. Certain colors of green just seem to hit my pleasure center directly.
12. I eat meat rarely enough now that it is starting to be less appetizing. Gristle can put me off the whole meal and my body just doesn't know what to do with beef anymore - "You want me to digest this? Jeez, lady, you might as well eat a piece of the phone book."
13. The tendency to start projects and keep them around for years without finishing them is a fine family tradition.
14. I still have a huge collection of dice from my gaming days. Some of these dice are now about 25 years old.
15. I'm probably more of a top, truth be known.
16. I spend more on computing than clothes.
17. My desk is by the window and overlooks the top of several trees and a great view beyond. This is as it should be.
18. I am an atheist.
19. I'm generally very extroverted, but I do love alone-time, working on my own projects, listening to my favorite music.
20. I've had long hair for most of my life.
21. Most of my spelling errors wouldn't be caught by a spell-checker since they're homonyms.
22. My favorite book as a very small child was the Cat In The Hat Dictionary which I would read straight through.
23. I once got to buy two and a half shopping carts full of books. It forever took care of the "must buy something" urge when browsing bookstores. Having had that glorious experience, I know nothing else could come close.
24. I swear.
25. My mum and I both love dark chocolate.
26. For someone with allergies, I'm pretty damn lax about dusting.
27. Unless a house has some funkiness to it - like the sloping floor in my present home - I don't want to live there.
28. I went to Scotland and Norway when I was 9 years old. It was a great trip.
29. I think my next major purchase might be a video camera.
30. I prefer things which convey a sense of the hands and mind that crafted them.
31. Peppermint is one of my favorite tastes and smells.
32. My life is happy.
33. I used to spend hours on end reading during summer vacations from school.
34. I hated the color pink until the last few years. Now I love it. (Though just the pale shades, not the alarming hot pinks).
35. I was a bad font pirate a decade or more ago. Now I don't pirate software or music or film. I make enough to compensate people for their efforts, even though
36. I don't make enough money to own a home in my city.
37. When I was a kid my favorite flavor of ice cream was Jamocha Almond Fudge.
38. I sometimes toy with the idea of learning to play the accordian.
39. I like dogs, but then every time I see someone walking along with a plastic bag full of warm dog poop in their hand I think, "nah, maybe not".
40. One of my favorite plants is bamboo.
41. My tummy is a little bit plumper than I would like.
42. I dislike gyms.
43. I love walking.
44. I tend to follow my instincts and please myself.
45. I have no intention of being a parent.
46. I donated a lot of money to Howard Dean's presidential campaign and now get begging letters from all sorts of liberal causes.
47. Spontaneously volunteering to help out same-sex couples getting married at San Francisco City Hall in February of 2004 was one of the best experiences of my life.
48. I prefer to sleep with someone else.
49. My natural hours of sleep would be between 1/2/3ish a.m. until 10/11ish a.m. if I could set my own schedule.
50. I tend to wear flats rather than heels and pants rather than skirts.
51. I like single-malt scotch.
52. I know where to touch guys to make them make that nice noise.
53. I often need to write down a word to know if it's spelled right. Since so much of my spelling sense comes from being a hardcore reader, the shape of the word is strongly related to my sense of its rightness.
54. I plan to never own a gas-powered car again.
55. I'm easily distracted, but also able to keep track of many things simultaneously.
56. I like my work.
57. My great-grandfather lived to be 102.
58. I am glad I was mostly* an only child as a kid (*step-siblings rarely around)
59. I tend to be a good judge of people.
60. If I didn't have a blister on my foot, I'd be out for a walk today. The sky is blue and it's a beautiful world.
61. Even for a self-aware person like myself, 100 is a very long list.
62. I like baths and like having some old paperback books which can be read in the tub.
63. Sometimes I get terribly lonely.
64. I have very ambivalent feelings about zoos. I have so much fun there, but I am not 100% convinced they're really good for animal species as a whole.
65. I don't like the smell of daisies.
66. I hate being tickled.
67. I love kissing.
68. I wish I'd had a better science and math education as a child. Even so, I frequently find I have a much tighter grip on basic troubleshooting techniques than those who presumably had more exposure to the scientific method.
69. I find this position to be less rewarding in fact than in fantasy. Given the choice, I'd rather focus on giving or receiving when mouths are involved.
70. I frequently have to backspace out of odd Elizabethan spellings like "mouthes".
71. My handwriting is pretty damn bad.
72. My signature is completely impossible to read. Even my doctor gives me a hard time over it.
73. I'm rarely approached by men when I'm out in clubs. This puzzles me since I'm told I'm not unattractive and I think I come across as friendly. While it's nice not to have to ward off unwanted attention, it is a pity to miss out on any of the wanted variety (plus it's a bit unsettling to the ego).
74. I enjoy cooking.
75. Though I know it would only make the self-portrait more revealing, I am mildly concerned that I might be repeating myself in this list.
76. I have a good housemate, but I am looking forward to having the place all to myself when he moves out, even if it does mean my rent will go way up. I've even started thinking about how I'll rearrange the furniture.
77. I like planning.
78. That piece of dusty fluff on the floor which I've been noticing for the last hour or so has finally gotten too irritating and I have to throw it away.
79. I like strong flavors.
80. If I wasn't allergic to them, I'd have a cat.
81. I am terribly romantic and affectionate. (And apparently this strikes terror into the hearts of some guys).
82. I don't know how anyone sleeps in nightgowns. I roll over so many times in the night that it would be a big twisted spiral around my waist by morning.
83. If I didn't have projects that need finishing, I'd take tomorrow off from work.
84. I think I might go to Alaska this summer.
85. I'm the last Sanders in my family line.
86. I like cities.
87. I love libraries.
88. Once I touched a guy I like on the shoulder and I was so aware of the feel of him under the cloth, the curve of the muscle at the top of his arm. Just the other night I saw him again, and again put my hand there on his shoulder. His shirt was soft as silk and I could again feel the shape of him under the softness. I could have touched him all night, but wasn't invited.
89. I spend too much time longing,
90. but in general, I live the life I love and I love the life I live.
91. I expect my next ten years to be even better than the last.
92. I have good, creative, kind, wonderful friends.
93. I include my parents among them.
94. Good music gets me all excited and energized. It makes me want to do creative things.
95. I wish I'd learned to play an instrument as a kid.
96. I can be easily deterred from sticking it out through the part of learning where it's really hard and I'm really bad at it.
97. I used to go mud-sliding as a kid. In fact, I did a lot of things where I got really muddy. I'm glad I have the sort of parents who think that's perfectly acceptable for a kid, regardless of gender.
98. I want to have a party again soon.
99. I have big ideas.
100. I enjoy little pleasures. (woo! 100!)

Posted on May 23, 2004 at 04:49 PM in Dinah - introduction | Permalink | Comments (3)

It's a good thing to turn your mind upside down now and then, like an hour-glass, to let the particles run the other way.
--Christopher Morley

Posted on May 23, 2004 at 01:57 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Things that should not be 2004

For years my friends have been urging me to read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Recently, at their pushing a copy into my hands and again telling me how good it is, I finally started. It is good. Odd, but an incredible creation. And unsettlingly, even though I'm not that far into it yet.

It is a testimony to just how eerie a mood it creates that tonight after reading another section, I decided I'd best put it down, take a bath and read something else to sooth my mind before sleep, and selected The Tomb by H.P. Lovecraft as more likely to produce pleasant dreams.

Posted on May 22, 2004 at 11:37 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (5)

We are what we eat, it is often said, but of course that's only part of the story. We are what what we eat eats too.
--Michael Pollan

Posted on May 22, 2004 at 04:20 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Small plates and a full course meal on a Friday night 2004

Last night was an excellent way to round out the week. I walked from the transbay terminal to the Mission district and had dinner with my friend Lenny at Esperpento (mmm, spicy potatoes, spicy chicken, grilled asparagus, garlic shrimp, good bread to sop up the sauces, and the best sangria in town) followed by the benefit for Right to Write at Amnesia.

That was a hell of a show. As much as I adore Amnesia - gotta make it down there more often - I think this line-up better do a repeat performance at a larger venue. The Whoreshoes are a ton of fun (I need to hear the song about "let me be your bull" again); Lord Loves A Working Man is getting amazingly good (and should really start thinking about their first CD); and good ol' Rube Waddell, even with Max and Freddi just having done a fantastic set with LLAWR, can get the whole place on their feet stompin' and hollerin'.

So, I stayed to the end. Closed the bar. Caught a cab home. Got to bed a little before 3am and slept pretty solidly.

Now it's coming up on 2pm, I've had my shower and a great big glass of water, but no breakfast. Today being officially "Stairway Day", I had planned on doing another nice big walk and making sure to include one of the city's many beautiful staircases, but I find I have a blister starting on the ball of my left foot. I guess the only walk I'll be doing is to the drug store to buy insoles for my newest shoes. I'm hoping if I am nice to it today and wear the right things tomorrow, I'll be able to get some walking in.

Larry (Reverend Whupass of Rube Waddell) said that he'll be playing at the Odeon Bar tonight and I would like to see what he does when he's not being a Rube. Plus I feel I ought to give the poor ol' Odeon a second chance. Larry says the porn isn't usually on the screen and it would be nice to be able to write up a review of an evening there that wouldn't scare away quite so many folks. (I do note though that my previous review is now no longer the #2 hit for a search for "odeon bar" on Google and is instead one of the last. Not sure what prompted that demotion, but I'm betting it has something to do with last week's comment spam attacks.)
Given how I'm feeling right now though, I don't know if I'll make it down for the show. Not even sure if I'll try to get out for the KFOG Kaboom. Too many late nights in a row and now my body clock is all discombobulated.

(It's now almost 3pm. I got distracted by the Google result thing and then reading some email and having a little snack. I think maybe it's just going to be a spacy day.)

Posted on May 22, 2004 at 02:56 PM in mundania, music, San Francisco, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1)

Come join me at a fun show in San Francisco Friday, May 21st, starting at 9pm at Amnesia (853 Valencia at 20th). My favorite local band, Rube Waddell will be joined by soul powerhouse Lord Loves A Working Man and all-woman country band The Whoreshoes in a benefit for Right to Write Poetry Project. See you there!

Posted on May 20, 2004 at 11:21 AM in music, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Horrible Plot Is Revealed 2004

I had always held off on learning how to use CSS (cascading style sheets) to control positioning in HTML pages because I'd heard many warnings about how spotty the support for this can be in different browsers. I saw the wonder that is CSS Zen Garden and at SXSW I attended a panel on CSS and then I thought "Hmm, maybe it's time to give it a try. It sure seems friendlier and more fun than I'd thought before."

It was all a terrible ruse.

I've spent a lot of time over the past few days at work wrestling with a layout that doesn't depend on tables for positioning and I now know the truth.

CSS positioning is a plot to make web designers' heads explode.

I haven't quite figured out what purpose this will serve, but I do understand a bit more about the methods being used by the shadowy figures behind this terrible scheme. Just take a look at some of the enablers:

eric_by_photomattEric Meyer seems friendly; always ready with a sly joke, he wards off suspicion by making silly faces.

Tantek_by_photomattTantek Çelik certainly appears calm, cultured and concerned for our well-being.

Doug_by_photomattDoug Bowman is pleasant enough, perhaps inclined to overcompensate a little with the "I am a person" shirt, but you wouldn't necessarily suspect him of being an evil cyborg.

Dave Shea picture from tbray.orgEveryone likes Dave Shea and look at that face, I mean, come on, how could he be planning destruction?

sweet_innocent_matt_mullenwegAnd just in case that wasn't enough to lull you into a false sense of comfort, how could you mistrust sweet, innocent little Matt Mullenweg?

Oh, I was taken in. Doug almost let it slip when I was talking to him at a party. I told him I was going to start learning CSS positioning and he said "Are you sure you want to do that? Are you really really sure?", but then before I could really consider the question he got me over to the bar and talking about high quality alcohol and typography. Silver tongued devil; he knows just how to distract this grrrl.

Now it's too late for me. I'm slipping into their dastardly clutches, but I still have enough independent willpower to warn the rest of you. You must avoid this peril! Beware of...

Oh no! I think they're on to me!


Posted on May 19, 2004 at 11:50 PM in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (4)

How I Use TypePad 2004

Though Mena's question was specifically about use of Movable Type, I thought I'd go ahead and answer the question too because I switched from Movable Type to use Six Apart's hosted solution, TypePad, and am finding it sufficient for my needs.

I have three weblogs: MetaGrrrl, Discardia, and a new one in development which is a conversion of a very old project to use of a content management system. About once every year or so I get a wild idea and start some new project. This often occurs right after SXSW. (I swear domain registration should have a breathalyzer and a 48-hour cooling off period... hey now, that'd be a cool site: dead domains. All those abandoned projects and wacky joke URLs and stuff people get all excited about and then never fully realize or do anything with... and it could be a group weblog or maybe anyone could add their little stories and... NO. Stop. Step away from the keyboard. ... See what I mean?) Anyhow, say 3 real weblogs plus the occasional litle side thing.

I have 7 TypeLists - which Movable Type folks would probably have to use another "weblog" for - of which 4 are now obsolete and in the process of being moved to regular posts (see Kottke Mode), 1 doesn't even need to be a TypeList and I should just hand code the rotating handful of entries, and two are legitimate ongoing uses (my Pals list used in my About page and the Other Discardian Writing list).

So, if I was MT instead of TypePad, I might max out at a dozen weblogs technically speaking (though I really only need 5) and 3 or 4 authors. Note that only 3 weblogs are distinct separate sites and thus count toware my license. I'd be fine with the Personal Edition at $70 and I'd be paying at least $25 a month to someone like Hurricane Electric to host it for me. Instead, I have a Pro TypePad account which costs $14.95 per month minus discounts (for switching to it during beta test and pre-paying). I'm a very happy Six Apart customer.

Posted on May 19, 2004 at 01:46 PM in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Great Migration Continues 2004

Tonight as the wind blustered around outside, I put in another good chunk of time working on moving all my old website content into TypePad. There are now about 5 months of old Blogger posts to move in, assign titles and catagories to, and test links.

Then the entire history of the blog proper will be in one content management system. However there's also some side content that needs to be added. Some I've worked in already, but not by any means all. On the bright side, thanks to the new Files tab in TypePad I was able to very quickly confirm that I did already do the first cut on moving my old thesis pages in. This has been such a long, intermittant project I couldn't remember if I still had that chore ahead of me.

Getting all the migration done won't mean every post has had a title and category assigned, but at least I'll have it in one searchable, easy-to-backup location with a familiar and friendly interface for all my editing.

Posted on May 16, 2004 at 09:48 PM in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

I write fiction because it's a way of making statements I can disown, and I write plays because dialogue is the most respectable way of contradicting myself.
--Tom Stoppard

Posted on May 16, 2004 at 09:28 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Still walking, but not today 2004

Three years ago, I set myself a goal: walk every street, every block, in the city of San Francisco. I'm making very good progress. Not sure what percentage of the city I've covered, but some mighty big streets are checked off the list - Mission, Market, California, Fulton, Lincoln, Embarcadero - and quite a few little ones too. Today I was going to take another big walk and check off a few more, but I didn't feel well and so haven't left the house.

It's frustrating, particularly when it's so unnecessary. The reason I don't feel well is the same one with which pretty much every other woman between puberty and menopause is familiar. In order for our bodies to shed the womb lining from last month and create a fresh new environment for potential new life, our innards do a bit of readjustment and this process can get quite uncomfortable. If I was going to have kids it might be worth it, but I've had a tubal ligation, so ain't nobody gonna be checking in for stay in this hotel. Cramps are for me, a completely pointless annoyance.

They were never as bad before my operation as they've been since - I fear my doctor, trying to be helpful, did something which reduces cramping in most women (lasering some region on the side of the womb or something?) but which had the opposite effect on me - and I'm still, several years later, perfecting my response to a bad bout. (Some months are definitely worse than others.) A nap remains the best medicine. Orgasm often helps a good bit, but, as I don't find pain a turn-on, doesn't necessarily leap to mind as the best course of action. So, I take some Ibuprophen and lie down. Today I took 400mg and then another 200mg when that didn't seem to do the trick. That got it down to a dull throb and I was able to doze for a while. I think next time I'll try 800mg.

Believe me, if there was an easy way to give my womb away to someone who actually wants one, I would. I ain't usin' the damn thing and the maintenance is hell.

Posted on May 16, 2004 at 04:36 PM in health, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

Switching from Quicken to Budget 2004

Continuing from my earlier posts on the decline of Intuit's Mac versions of their products and on my quest for replacement software, here are some specifics on making the switch.

Budget is significantly harder to transition to from Quicken than to another ledger-based program like Liquid Ledger. It is a completely different mental model and it takes some getting used to. You really have to "unquicken" your mind. For that reason, I actually do not recommend migrating your existing history into it. Start with a clean slate at a logical breakpoint such as your next monthly checking account statement. Here are the steps I would recommend for a new Budget user coming from use of Quicken or a program very like it:

1. Understand that Budget does not work on a ledger model. It is all about keeping track of where you are planning to spend your money, where you really spend it and if that leaves you money left over for anything else.

2. I do not recommend the start-up wizard (as it currently exists, at least) because it doesn't support as smooth a mental transition to this new way of doing things. Instead, read the user manual. Not all of it necessarily, but just the Getting Started section and those on working with different kinds of accounts, especially the Complete Detail section of "Handling Credit Cards". I know it's frustrating not to jump right in, but, trust me; you need to shake loose some assumptions about how things work because they are very different than Quicken. It's just going to take a couple days to wrap your head around Budget and decide if it will work well for you.

3. Understand these key concepts:
Accounts - these are the closest things to the Quicken model.
Envelopes - these correspond basically to categories in Quicken.
Pay Allocations - this is where we're in brand new territory. Remember that this is a live view of your budget, so every time money comes into your bank account, you will be allocating it to envelopes from which you'll take the money as expenses arise.

4. Agree with your bank. Make sure that in Quicken you're up-to-date with reconciling with bank statements. Ideally do your Budget setup within the first week after getting your checking account statement. I did it the same day as reconciling in Quicken and it meant I didn't have to keep track of things in two places for a while.

5. Begin in Budget in the most familiar territory: create accounts. Make a new account for each of your active bank accounts and credit card accounts. I also made an account for my student loan debt (checking the "allow account to go negative" box for this kind of debt account) and my security deposit. Do one new transaction in each called "opening balance". When you have an account selected in the left column, the Available envelope in the upper right corner represents the funds which you can allocate to expenses. I only allocate to expenses from my checking account, so 90% of the time I have the Checking account selected. The Total at the top of the column of accounts tells you your net worth.

6. Next, create your envelopes. To keep the display uncluttered, I found it helpful to move some things into two new envelope groups: Once A Month and Rare. I did not create envelopes for payroll tax expenses. Perhaps I've misunderstood something, but Budget seems to deal with net, not gross pay. Since I just watch my paycheck stubs during the year and enter my totals straight into my tax forms from my W-2 at the end of the year, that's one hassle I no longer have to deal with.

7. Set up your regular pay and pay allocations to the various envelopes. This is really the "make your budget" step.

8. Now that you've got the framework for everything in place, select your checking account and drag allocations from the Available envelope to the various envelopes. This step is catching up with the fact that the balance that is in your checking would have been distributed through past allocations had you been running Budget back then.

9. Now you're ready to begin using Budget. Enter any transactions since your bank statement and you should see an up-to-the-minute view of what's happening with your money.

I expect it will take a few months of using Budget for me to settle in and perfect using it - it certainly took at least that long with Quicken! - so I may post some additional tips in the future. For now, a couple little notes:
- I made envelopes for all my regular monthly bill categories including one for my student loan. When I pay that bill, I make a transfer from that envelope to the student loan account.
- I also made an envelope for the amount I want to move into my savings account every month.
- I follow the recommendations for dealing with cash on hand in the example from the "Handling Cash" section of the help.
- Note that Budget, unlike Quicken, doesn't autosave your work. There's a handy save button in the top left corner of the display; use it frequently!

Posted on May 16, 2004 at 11:59 AM in tools | Permalink | Comments (6)

Posted on May 15, 2004 at 11:59 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

Great bento boxes with food art - Lucky kids! (And what cool parents too!)

Posted on May 15, 2004 at 03:04 PM in creativity, Food and Drink, linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

More comment spam 2004

Slept in this morning and so only caught the tail end of today's assault on my comments. Same pattern as yesterday - a bunch of Alexander Morozov/3FN.net sites - only this time on the theme of incest rather than beastiality. I deleted the 350 or so comments and hope that they were gone before Google's indexing 'bots came through. Then again, though, since this pattern has been going on for a while and is such a blatant attempt to jack search engine results, I wouldn't be surprised if most of the search engine sites have or are considering blocking these sites from appearing in results at all.

The only way to cure comment spamming and fake portals and bad keywording and all those other techniques is for them not to work in driving visitors to the promoted URLs. The responsibility for that lies with the search engine makers, though the rest of us can help by deleting the stupid content when it's under our control.

Blocking by IP won't work, I'm fairly well convinced. In the attacks on this site the originating IP changes every 10 or so comments and I'd not be surprised to find they belong to insecure servers the spammers are illegally using as origins, much as they would for mailing spam. (Thus the other thing we can do to protect the Web from these abuses is to keep any servers under our control very secure).

Posted on May 15, 2004 at 01:52 PM in warnings & kvetches, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Where I'd Rather Be 2004

(dog in green grass) - image copyright Dean Allen
Thank you, Dean, for your lovely pictures that brighten even my bad days.

Posted on May 14, 2004 at 05:59 PM in friends & family, worry vs. clarity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hammered with comment spam 2004

Oo, look how much attention I'm getting today.

You might want to block the following IP addresses from commenting on your websites:

I received many comment spams (mostly beastiality related) from each.

I'll delete the rest after we finish going over the evidence to see if we can trace the source.

If you've suffered a similar attack, please let me know. I'd like to put together some information for Google so they are aware of the probable search-result-jacking attempt.


Update: spam still rolling in. TypePad support working on the issue. Appears, based on the hosting of a commonly promoted domain, to be a certain much-loathed Russian spammer.

Given the rotating IP's, it's probably not worth adding them to your block lists. I'm hoping for a higher level door to slam closed against this crap.


Hmm, on the bright side, I'm accumulating a bit of interesting data of how these comment spammers work. I hope it will be helpful for blog software creators (most of whom are friends of mine) and the fine folks at Google and other search engines.

Posted on May 14, 2004 at 03:39 PM in warnings & kvetches, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (3)

Get a frickin' grip, MT bloggers. 2004

I can't believe the way people are freaking out over the fact that the next incarnation of Movable Type might actually cost money. For gawd's sakes folks, it's great software: compensate the people who make and maintain it. Or stick with the version you have. That's fine too.

And, really, it costs how much? $150 tops for personal use and that's 10 weblogs! For someone like me with 3 weblogs, it would cost $70. And, if I read the announcement right, I could apply the money I already paid for it - which I seem to recall being $50 because I was so impressed with the software - so it'd be $20 for the upgrade.

How much is other software which you might use every day? Quicken? $30-50 Microsoft Word? $200 Eudora? $50
But this isn't just like those other things, this is a communication device, so how much do you pay each month for, say, your internet connection? Or your mobile phone?

I think the Movable Type pricing is perfectly reasonable. Yes, SixApart will probably lose some "customers", but how useful are customer who think your product isn't worth paying for?

I pay for my software for the same reason I don't pirate music: I think craftspeople deserve to be able to make a living off what they do.

Posted on May 13, 2004 at 03:20 PM in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (10)

New post over in Discardia: Where To Start?

Posted on May 11, 2004 at 10:19 PM in Discardia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blog (noun) A weblog or similar brief journal usually containing links and commentary thereon. Term coined by Peter Merholz.

Visit Typepad or Blogger to start your own. (I began with hand coding, then switched to Blogger when it first became available, then to Movable Type when I wanted more control over my weblog and to have it hosted at a place of my choosing (Hurricane Electric). Since 06/2003 I've used Typepad, a hosted service built by the same folks who made Movable Type, which I love because I don't have to maintain the underlying system).

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Except where otherwise noted all content is copyright 1965-2018 Dinah Sanders. Please do not repost my writing or other creations elsewhere. Instead, copy a tiny bit and link to the rest. Thanks! Images are copyright of their original creators. MetaGrrrl logo and photos by Dinah are copyright 1965-2018 Dinah Sanders. Inkspot Books and the Inkspot logo have been Service Marks of Dinah Sanders since 1993.