Archive for June, 2002

June 29, 2002

Was just reading up on warchalking — a term I’ve been seeing on every Weblog imaginable. Oddly enough it has nothing to do with war, and everything to do with taking advantage of free wireless internet access. Kind people in England have developed a language of symbols drawn with chalk on walls and sidewalks to denote an available wireless access point. More explaination here at

DVD #7: My patience wears thin for movies that are blatently disturbing for no other reason than to be shocking. During the first 45 mins or so of Monster’s Ball I thought that’s exactly what I was in for. As it evolves though, the disturbing stuff is necessary for the rest of the story. Billy Bob Thorton played the same exact character I’ve been seeing in his last few movies. I liked it in the end.

Probably the last DVD of summer vacation. We certainly didn’t set out to watch 7 movies this week, but the lame video store right down the street was pulling a “rent one, get one free” on us, so we had to.

June 27, 2002

DVD #5: I’m a sucker for a good mockumentary, so naturally Lisa Picard is Famous turned out to be an entertaining movie. Not quite as hilarious as Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show, but still really funny. It chronicles a few weeks of Lisa Picard’s life as she is just about to break through to being a celebrity. All ficticious of course.

DVD #6: The Man Who Wasn’t There: The Coen brother’s black and white story of a barber caught up in murder and other stuff. Great story, amazing cinematography (have never seen shadows and light used with such character before). Can be a little slow going at times, but it’s all part of the theme.

We bought an air conditioner today. God bless the air conditioner.

June 26, 2002

Another in the “Rediscovering the North Shore” series (previously named “Had to buy a fridge so we can’t go anywhere on vacation”): Misery Island turned out to be an incredible, 87 acre, uninhabited oasis only a few miles from our house off the coast of Salem, MA. A 20 min boat ride takes you out, drops you off, and then you’re on your own until the next pick up. Highly recommended if you’re ever in the area. It was about 95 degrees today, and probably 80 degrees on the island. The photo on the right was taken on the dock where the boat picks you up. Here’s a photo from the island on the spot where a casino was built in the early 1900s. Someone had grand plans for the “Misery Island Club” back in the day. Now it’s (thankfully) controlled by trustees.

DVD #4: Orange County. Pretty horrible, and only clocks in at an hour and 17 minutes (is that legal?). Jack Black’s appearance was the only saving grace here — but he’s barely in it.

June 25, 2002

DVD #3: The Majestic. A pretty good movie. I remember seeing an interview with Jim Carrey around the time that this originally came out in theatres. He was saying how Jimmy Stewart was his idol. It’s apparent in the film, and it works. The story somewhat relates to Stewart’s in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I’m liking Jim Carrey’s serious roles so far — I only hope he continues to get good scripts sent his way.

I recently upgraded Internet Explorer to version 5.2 for OS X. It now supports Quartz (silky smooth text) rendering at just about every font size. I turned it off though. It just doesn’t look right for smaller pixel sizes — especially when non-aliased fonts are clearer without the smoothing. I love it on larger font sizes. Just wish you could set a threshold. Maybe it’s just something you get used to. 5.2 does seem a bit snappier which is nice.

Also downloaded OmniWeb today — a promising browser, from a great Mac software company. I hear that it’s cookie management is worth the $29.99 license fee.

June 24, 2002

Today: Crane Beach in Ipswich. Probably the nicest beach on the North Shore of Boston. Water temperature: 56 degrees. Air temperature: probably 87 degrees. This makes for an interesting combination. Luckily there was an ocean breeze.

DVD #2 tonight: Life as a House. Really great movie that is neither hip nor trying to be anything but just a good movie. Sad too.

June 23, 2002

Vacation has offically started. Unfortunately buying a new fridge killed any travel plans beyond the borders of Massachusetts.

I’m writing this post in a new publishing engine I’ve been working on. The code has been chopped down to a single Perl file that runs all the processing and file writing, and an XSLT stylesheet to handle the form building. It’s called SimplePost now (source is available for download), and I think I finally have something worth using. It uses all little XML files for each individual post, then Perl builds a master XML doc for the site to render. It’s all written using RSS as well.

Watched Vanilla Sky tonight. Liked it a lot. Spent the whole movie saying “damn good soundtrack”, then forgot until the closing credits that Cameron Crowe directed it. Makes perfect sense.

Most importantly though, today is Kerry and I’s 1 year anniversary. It’s crazy how fast a (great) year can fly by.

June 20, 2002

It’s cool. I’m hearing that lots of people are making the switch. I’m digging Apple’s new campaign. In one commercial the guy says “OS X just doesn’t get in my way”. This is right on the money. Once you get used to the interface — you forget it’s even there.

June 19, 2002

Small Pieces Loosely Joined, by David Weinberger was an ok book. Some chapters were great — I’ve never heard someone able to describe what’s good about the Web like this. Other chapters seemed a bit meandering and preachy, while others were a little too basic. Anyone who wants to work on the Web, but doesn’t have a clue on why and how it works should read this book though.

Redesign. After many months, we finally launched a complete front-end and back-end redesign/overhaul of It still isn’t perfect, but organizationally the site was a monster before this. It’s all being delivered with flat HTML files that are created purely with XML and XSLT (and JSP for the dynamic bits where needed).

Next? Fast Company.