| Marathon Training!!|
August 9th was the official starting day for Tulay and I in marathon training! We have been at it quite aggressively for over four weeks now
and have already seen substantial gains. We are working out six days a week, waking up every morning at 6:45AM to go run 4-5 miles. I've
modified the workout quite a bit as we learned more about running. It's hard work. Every day flirts with tendonitis in a new place. This
weekend we held our first speedwork session and the most sore place on my body was my abs! Strange, but true. Very weird things are happening.
While I'm holding a steady weight at 190 lbs, the tale of the tape is changing quite a bit. My body fat is down to 16% and dropping. How do
I know this? Yes, I bought a caliper...the scale isn't as informative any more. In just one month of steady training, both Tulay and my resting
heart rates are hovering at 60 bpm. At this rate we'll be well into the lower 50's, if not lower, by race day. I can't believe how quickly
these changes have occured by just running alone. We have eight more weeks of training before the big day and if we are able to stay in good
health the entire training period, we'll be more than ready for this task!
Rus! Stop antagonizing the locals! =)
| Hong Kong #1|
Just got into Hong Kong and posted to the site, sorry for the delays. We're going to be pretty active today and tomorrow as our flight
out is at 12:30AM tomorrow night so we pack for good tonight.
| Shanghai Day #5|
This morning was a special day for Tulay as she got her hair shortened quite a bit. The jury is still out on whether it will stay this
way or not. More shopping and then to a tiny hutong area we discovered to get overcharged yet again. This time threw me over the edge a bit
and I lost my temper for some time, but our Huangpu Jiang boat tour calmed me down some.
I guess I'm a bit sick of being constantly overcharged when the locals pay nothing for the same items. Every single purchase wastes a little
bit more time and it really begins to add up. Further, once you are complete, you know you've paid too much money anyway.
| Shanghai Day #4|
Yuyuan Park and shopping. Spent a lot of time relaxing today.
| Shanghai Day #3|
Bought our tickets to Hong Kong on Thursday morning. We shopped a lot today before heading to the acrobatic show at the Shanghai Center.
| Shanghai Day #2|
Today we had breakfast in the hotel. I think we're starting to break on eating some other cuisine (or at least I am), we're actively
seeking coffee places and went into Starbucks yesterday. Maybe it's just the comforting familiarity. Since they have a tower, the Oriental
Pearl Tower, I had to go up in it. We took the Bund Tourist Tunnel and it was exactly that. Wow, I haven't seen something so cheesy in a long
time. It was supposed to be some psychodelic experience...it was really just a slow, crowded train with a bunch of neon lights and a laser or two.
If you want to see far better, just pick a random nightclub here.
The tower was okay, we only had an hour so didn't go all the way to the top. But we did get to see the setup of a rally race about to start from
where we were. It was a curved track weaving all throughout the inside of the Bund curve. After an hour we stood in line to get down and that is, of
course when we got behind schedule and had to race down the tower, back through the painfully slow Tourist Tunnel (ugh) out to find a cab and pray
that they stopped for us (we still can't figure out why they don't stop) and made it to the Yifu Theatre 5 minutes before it started.
The opera was much better quality and was quite understandable before the intermission. After the intermission, there were long sequences without
much movement so we really got lost on the story and couldn't quite appreciate what we were seeing. One thing that we definitely noticed was that
people clapped during the strangest voice ululations. A little bit of arm waving and the crowd would go wild. I didn't understand the skill
at all, so I suspect it must have been symbolic.
After the show we met up with the people who showed us our hotel and went out for a hotpot. Hotpot is quickly becoming our favorite food, we've
had it three times since we've been here and will likely have it once more before we go. The theme is a bowl of boiling water sunk into the table.
One half is a good soup base and the other half is sichuan spicy. You select your food (an adventure when you don't know the language) and cook
the food slowly and pick it out and dip it in a peanut sauce. It's fantastic!
We bid farewell to our friends and Tulay and I stumbled immediately upon Nanjiang Lu and walked up and down this famous street and later went out
looking for a club and found d.n.a. I was suspicious at first, but when they opened the door and there were chinese rappers on stage freestyling we
had to go in! They were good! They'd shout "C'mon ya'll, everybody get your hands up!" and Tulay and I would be the only ones with our hands in the
air. It was a blast!
| Shanghai Day #1|
Took the expensive taxi to the airport, I'm not sure why. I think it's the constant upselling and I got sold. I refuse to fall for this
again. The flight was cushy and we met other English speakers who were also confused. One set was charged some random tax for the weight
of their luggage and there wasn't any real explanation why. While Tulay and I smiled our way through the counter with our huge junk laden
backpacks, the other backpackers seemed envious. The flight was good and we had a great meal.
We landed and asked some fellow Americans where they were staying and we joined them in a cab to The Bund at the Pujiang Hotel (now Astor Hotel) and booked a night. The Astor House
Hotel cannot be recommended highly enough. Yeah, expect to negotiate like I did, but the room we have is fantastic! We ventured out after a quick
after-flight shower and found our way into Frenchtown for some shopping. We booked Acrobatic tickets for Monday night and Opera tickets
for tomorrow afternoon.
Shanghai appears to be an amazing city. Several times we've enjoyed walking on a sidewalk that borders the river. Much to our surprise it
was *very* crowded tonight with neon lit kites flying above and the city buildings alive with color. We checked ferry schedules for tomorrow (the
schedule is "when it's full") and went to the hotel for a few drinks before calling it a night.
| Xi'an Day #2|
I woke up this morning dreaming of work and quickly looked around the room for my alarm clock to check the time. No clock...strange room.
We completely failed hunting breakfast this morning and left a restaurant with an excuse that we had to catch a train in order to not
offend the proprietor with our quarter eaten meal. While hiring a car to take us to the terracotta soldier museum is cheap enough we opted
to take the bus to get even more of the China Experience. What could have been a 30 minute cab ride took well over an hour as the minibus
constantly tried to get more people at every stop. Tulay and I were a bit wary on this ride as it was such a strange experience and people
were looking at us constantly. We lived and in retrospect we were overly cautious, but in comparing stories with others that went there it appears
that everyone was worried through all the different ways to get to the soldiers.
The museum was one of the best kept that I've seen. Although it appeared to be an active dig, there was nobody working so I didn't get any great
pictures of them. The terracotta soldiers were created 2,200 years ago and entombed for some garbled reason that I'll have to follow up on with in
depth reading. What was shocking was the level of sophistication of the people back then. They even had iron weaponry. Yes, most of it was bronze, but
what they were creating was truly advanced. I left the museum with far more questions than when I had entered.
We went back to the Muslim Quarter of townn and visited an ancient mosque in Xi'an. What I regret missing is a picture of the old men coming to
the call to prayer dressing in a traditional chinese garb with a topi, but we have many pictures of the mix of chinese architecture mixed with Islamic
writings. It was quite surreal.
Just as a quick rant, don't buy anything other than food in this town. We were buying several courses of food for about 20 Yuan and eating well...very
well. Meanwhile, I needed an umbrella and some lady was trying to sell me one for 150 yuan when I knew the going price was 10. On and on, I heard about
how it was a silk umbrella and high quality, etc. Not one, not two, but three umbrellas in a row I pointed out that they were broken. She asked me what I would pay and
I said 10 yuan and she said okay. It's just a huge waste of travel time to even talk to them.
| Xi'an Day #1|
We woke to a drizzly day and got off the train to a huge number of aggressive touts trying to convince
us to go to their hotels. We went to the tourist office and received directions to our hotel and the worst 5 Yuan map I've ever seen (more on that) and were off. After quick arrangements
and a necessary shower we went out for food and found yet another fantastic meal where yet again we ate too much and paid only 20 yuan ($2.50).
Some shopping and then winding through the back alleys of Xi'an. Somehow we passed an official with a nod and found our way into a museum with
stone carvings. Fascinated we continued our way through and even purchased caligraphy duplicates of the tablets and continued on to the entrance
where we discovered that we'd actually snuck into the Stone Templates Museum. From there we rushed to the Buddhist Big Goose Pagoda where
we learned that we should know more about Buddhism before we go to Buddhist temples. There were monks, a lot of carvings of Buddha and a lot of
chinese descriptions. The only signs we could understand were "Entrance" and "Way out". So we made up our own interpretations and continued our
way up the 8 stories to the anticlimatic top. The most interesting thing we found (probably because we can't read Mandarin) was an elderly monk
striking a small gong when people put money into the box.
Now, before I close, I have to comment on that map. It's poor because it is completely in English. This is a wondrous thing if you are
using it to show your friends where you went, but for getting anywhere in Xi'an, it really sucked. The best way to get anywhere in a chinese
cab is to point at some chinese characters in a notebook or ideally a map. This map doesn't even have the chinese way of saying the street names!
Now this may not seem so bad except cab drivers here can't read a map if it doesn't have chinese characters on it. They look everywhere on the map,
flip to the other side and read the ads, but simply can't understand the road structure on the map. It's quite frustrating. It's useless to point
where you are and draw slow lines on the roads to take, we haven't been successful at this method yet...and believe me, we have tried.
| Beijing Day #6|
Summer Palace today. Ting had booked a night train for us and we met her before we left and she drove us to the
train station. I was expecting something of the description of an Indian train...hot, crowded, noisy and dirty. But I got
brand new, clean and quiet. There was even an individual television for us to watch cheezy kung fu flicks...and they have
redefined the term cheesy.
| Beijing Day #5|
We waited for the rain to stop and now we've had two days of grueling sunshine. Great for pictures, not so great for my alabaster
skin. It was a very slow start this morning as I wrote in my journal and Tulay ventured out solo to get coffee. A few more travel
maintenance issues were solved and we left for the Forbidden City.
| Beijing Day #4|
Today was the day for the wall. Off we took to where our hotel concierge directed us and after a 30 minute cab ride to the
bus station we learned that buses only run there on weekends. We tried several people since we are never really sure what they
are saying and we were directed to a car driver and negotiated our 110km round trip for 400 yuan and we were off. I was practically
begging for a seat belt in the back seat, but alas, there were none. He wasn't so crazy that he passed cars on blind turns, but
he tried. He gave us two hours to run up the wall and back (we were late back) and that was plenty. I had managed to find the most
difficult part of the wall called Simatai. It was painful, but we took some great pictures.
An interesting new tourist technique has developed here in that you will pick up an individual mosquito in the form of an older
chinese lady who will try to sell you postcards, books and T-shirts. I had read about them, but was really impressed with their
tenacity. I mean, we were going up a very steep wall very fast and these ladies were wheezing but kept coming. They followed us
about 2km up the wall and I had to tell them to stop in not very nice terms. But like the guidebook says, I kept smiling the whole
time. They said they'd wait for us...and they did and chased us all the way down. I suspect they were the wives of the workers there
who were rebuilding the wall since they wore passes into the park.
| Beijing Day #3|
The rain continues today so we cancelled our plans to go to the Wall and decided to shop all day. We're starting to crave
coffee so we went to KFC since we knew they'd have some and started our morning there. We started at Wangfujing and then quickly went
to Oriental Plaza. These are nice shopping areas but a a bit more commercial than what we were looking for so after investigating
as much as we could we grabbed a three wheeled motorcycle cab, crammed into the back and headed for Dashilar. Dashilar is a hutong
bargaining area. I've gotta admit, since coming here my bargaining skills have improved dramatically. Tulay and I work as a team in
many situations if we think we can drop the price. Even though we bargaining over four yuan ($0.50), we press hard to get it.
We bought a lot today. I even bought those cheesy looking black kung fu shoes, but they are totally different from what we have in
the US. Many layers of cloth are used to create a high quality shoe and they had a team of people in the front of the store hand sewing
them all. They had a single pair in the whole place that fit me.
Peking Opera was a must so of course we took it in. Also expected, we were runnning late so paid top dollar but we sat in the best
seats in Huguang Guild House with the rest of the expats. Opera in Chinese is strange, but I like it. I think I'd like to take in a few more
at places where there are a few less foreigners and they don't speak to the audience in English, but I believe we got a decent sample.
| Beijing Day #2|
Anybody who complains there is nothing on television has never channel surfed in a Beijing hotel room during a torrential rainstorm.
I've flipped from Chinese "pop" singing to soap operas. I have over 70 channels of this. It may sound interesting, but the luster
wears off after about 10 minutes and you notice that all the words sound the same...two consonants of "sh" and "ng" and a multitude
of drug-inspired vowels. Our plans of going to a teahouse to wait out the rain have been stymied due to the incredible lack of any
sort of public drainage system more sophisticated than evaporation. I have pictures of crowd's of people bicycling through over a foot of
water like a normal days work. I'm certain our cab had to have been floating through some portions of our ride home, but I couldn't open
the fogged up window much to verify this without getting drenched.
The morning began with my not very well thought out decision to walk to Tian An Men Square. There was a
dense haze all over the city all day, so my pictures are pretty poor. The walk was long, I'd estimate 4 miles but much more with our
backtracking. On the way we accidentally discovered hutong. These are the old town of tiny winding streets where you can really get
the pulse of the city. We found our breakfast on the street with a man and his daughter making these thin, large pancakes with an egg
cracked and smeared over the top and then some mystery sauces added (jianbing?). Before each layer, she asked in what I assume was perfect Mandarin
whether we wanted each one and we nodded like we understood. When it came time to pay, this time we discovered that there was a
difference between the bills clearly marked 5. Having no idea what she wanted I had to spread out my money and let her carefully pluck
out the other bill with a 5 on it and she seemed happy and gave me change. First, the food was excellent! Whatever it was. Tulay and
I were quite satisfied. Second, here's the situation with the different 5's. There are two sets of paper money, one in denominations of
Yuan, the local currency, and the second is Jian. 10 Jian make up one Yuan. So my mistake is that I was offering her 1/2 Yuan instead of
5 Yuan like I meant. Now, I also have some coins and they have a 1 and a 2 on them. Of course, I wasn't paying attention when I got them
and now I'm not exactly sure how to use them since they don't have Jian or Yuan clearly inscribed on the back. More on this tomorrow.
The last thing I'm going to note is the strange habit of people here to take pictures of Tulay and I. At Tian An Men Square, people
would want us to pose with them while they make what looks like a peace sign with their hands. Although, last night, talking with two
migrant Irish ladies, we've learned that this may not be what it appears. Sometimes the shy ones wouldn't ask but would instead take
sneaky pictures of us as we walked by. Regardless, we tolerated these photo moments in the square as
we only had like four or five, but later that night at our hotel we hit a limit of about seven in a row as people rushed out of a party
room to take pictures with us. We politely shi-shi'ed our way out and escaped for tea downstairs, despite invites into the party.
I'll end today's long update with a picture Tulay took of me arguing with a pedicab driver about the fee. Negotiations with him began
at 20 Yuon to which I countered "Fifteen" and he said yes. He drove us 5 or 6 blocks to our restaurant and demanded "Fifty"...thus the
twenty minute standoff ensued. This is a picture of him blocking my way into the restaurant to the concern and interest of many onlookers.
| Beijing Day #1|
Today was a travel day. We said goodbye to our excellent hosts and will see them on the 24th when we fly back through Seoul. Thank you
very much for showing us a fantastic time in Seoul!
The flight to Beijing was easy, only two hours and going past customs was even easier. We were met by Ting, a sister of Tulay's
colleague. I'm still stunned by her hospitality. She booked a hotel for us (two actually, just in case), took time off work to come
pick up some strangers and drove us to the hotel. She then helped us get yuan and then she bought us lunch. Tulay and I must have been
tired because after we got back we slept for 3 hours and woke up to meet Ting and her husband and his nephew. They took us to a traditional
Beijing dinner for Mongolian hotpot where we talked and quaffed the local brew until the restaurant was closing.
On our walk home from lunch, our first realization that this may be more difficult than our usual sojourn is when we negotiated for peaches
from a street vendor. We bought them and really wanted to pay the man but couldn't understand how much money he wanted. We even asked him
to write it down and he wrote chinese characters. To emphasize and make it perfectly clear how much we owed him, he would hold up both index
fingers and make a plus sign (+), to which we would stare at him blankly. After several rounds of this, through sheer dumb luck, I grabbed
a 10 yuan bill out of my pocket and he accepted this and we moved on with our prize. Later, I frantically flipped through the guidebook in
the hotel room and found that they don't count on their hands in a remotely familiar way and that by making the plus sign he was telling us
that we owed him 10 yuan. I've since memorized the hand signs....
| Day #5 Korea|
This morning was a start at about 10AM. Our bodies rebelled a bit from being pushed further than normal New York walking.
If you like stairs, Seoul is the place for you. They have stairs for every purpose and a distinct dearth of elevators. One of
the favorite things I've seen is to use stairs to cross under a street instead of walking over it. The subways are also quite deep and
escalators are scarce. Although we did find a strange elevated moving ramp in grocery store that allowed you to take your shopping
cart up several levels.
Regardless, we started toward the Korean Village Museum and picked up a few more pictures, but not much is noteworthy there. From
there we trekked over to Doeksu Palace for another quick look at old Korean high life. We got a few pics of our hero King Sejong who
invented the Korean alphabet and moved on to Dongdaemun for some more shopping where I got this picture of Tulay getting a stamp made
with her name in Korean.
| Day #4 Korea|
Well, today we found out why they call it the rainy season. Our indoors activities included racing from shop to shop and walking
under the huge tented markets. You know, I'm amazed at the amount of stuff that is here for sale. Just stuff. They have it all...and
cheap! This is a huge consumer economy.
We also had to take advantage of an excellent tailor at Mode!
| Day #3 Korea|
Our policy of disciplined jetlag containment has paid off and today we are fully adjusted. We went to the
travel agent to schedule a flight to Beijing and did a little shopping in Insadong. Later we went to the famous
Korean War Memorial...quite impressive. I never knew the US had such a huge commitment in the 50's. Of course I knew
about the war, but that over five million americans went through duty for the war is astounding. After this we had two
hours before we met with Rus and Julie and took off to the Jong-se Ya, the Korean Buddhist headquarters. I should have
gotten a few more pictures of the people all dressing in entire outfits of gray. Many of the shops near the temple(?) had
long lines of gray shoes. It was very strange, I wish someone would have understood my questions.
After a long day exploring, we settled down for a dish of buuldak that even the Koreans consider spicy. Literally, the namee
means "fire chicken". And to round out the night, we had the ultimate Korean experience at a noraebong.
| Day #2 Korea|
We were moving at 8:30 this morning and out the door at 9 with very little planning. But we went for the high point at Gyeongbok Palace
"The Palace of Shining Happiness", the Museum of Korean Culture and then out to Insadong for shopping. We were still a bit jet-lagged and
managed to meander down a random alley to find a hidden teahouse where we relaxed and had the greatest tea experience we've ever had.
| Day #1 Korea|
*blink-blink* I'm soooo tired. So damn tired. Awake for 26 hours tired. We flew into Korea about 4 hours
ago to be greeted by Rus and Julie. We dropped our bags off at their place
and promptly headed out to have authentic Korean food. "You want it hot?", we were asked. Twenty minutes later
we were eating with steel chopsticks some of the most unapologetically spicy hot food I've had in a long, long time.
It was fantastic!
I've gotta admit, I couldn't find the place again given months of searching. The buildings all look alike...and
if I were in a European city, I would have been positive that I was in the naughty part of town with all the neon
flashing and touts trying a variety of languages on us.
Tomorrow will be a full day of tourism and sleep will come easily tonight.
| » Go Big City Sellouts!|
Happy Friday the 13th! I was asked today if I "actually believe in the 13th and all that" and
was stunned into silent reflection pondering exactly what this meant. What sort of myths are about the 13th?
Isn't it just a movie? With a followup bad movie of Saturday the 14th?? Then a piece of paper fell of a desk
and I forgot all about it.
My last post was an effluent drone so I promised myself weeks ago that I was going to update more
rapidly and knock it down the list. As you can see that momentary inspiration was acted upon
with industrious procrastination. Regardless, on with the Jayson's life update!
The last six weeks of sporting activities have been targetted at
volleyball. Of course, this change from running almost every day
occurred once I received this email:
Congratulations Jayson Pifer! You are eligible for guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon 2004, the 35th anniversary running of the race. Simply follow the instructions below and register by May 1, 2004, in order to enter the marathon without applying for the lottery. The marathon will take place on November 7, 2004.
This came after suffering through my nine qualifying races last year and losing out in the lottery
attempt to get into to the 2003 marathon. My backup plan of actually earning an entry into the race
actually came through!
| » Losing Weight Sucks|
Back before I was officially
outed from the NYC marathon this year and when I was aggressively training to be in shape for the
aforementioned, I decided that it was time to lose that "extra 10 pounds." The training was tough, I was
waking up at 6:45am and working out 6 days a week, I definitely didn't need the added weight to lift with every
footstep. I mean just looking at those scrawny please-give-me-a-biscuit winners of the races made me think that
running alone was going to do the trick...but it wasn't so. Thus, at 220 pounds, I started a regimen of drinking
4 liters of water every day and eating 5 times per day. The theory behind this was that the body won't starve and
won't need to store fat if you are eating constantly. Consistency was key here so I stuck with it for about a
month. I did learn that I didn't tire during the day from the constant influx of energy and enjoyed that fact, but
the scale didn't budge. Another trip to the bookstore and I bought several
books and as I read more and "learned" that I was missing
supplements from my diet so I started taking fish oil tablets, green tea extract, a multivitamin and
glucasomins chondroitin for good measure. Another month passed and still no results.
It's amazing to me how I can follow a regimen of heavy exercise, proper diet, timed eating, proper drinking
and, just in case my body missed something, proper supplements and my body vetoes any attempt at the goal.
It just seems to entrench itself deeper into the battle because I know that if I go back to my old
habits, by say reducing exercise, it will not maintain status quo and will, in fact, gain again!
Realizing this, I cracked down. It was time to show the body that the mind was in control. So I did the
last thing that anybody wants to do and decided to Eat Less.
But I guess I always knew that, it just sucks to have to eat less to get to where I want to be. So in one
month of determination I lost 15 pounds. One more month and I lost 5 more then gained back 4 in the ensuing month.
It has been a trial. One thing I did notice when I weighed 200 pounds is that I really had no idea how much weight
I needed to lose to get to where I wanted to be. My goal of lose that 10 pounds kept growing the more weight
I lost. So after I was sure I'd stabilized my weight, I set another goal of 185 pounds. I still don't
know if this will be the right weight, but once I get there I'll tell you. I declared success at the Eat
Less diet and congratulated myself thoroughly. For the next round to 185 I decided to try something new and
Dr. Atkins had the answer. I bought and read the book and the diet, while a reaction to
the current low-fat craze diets, makes a lot of sense. I've been on it since 9/01/03 and have lost my 9 pounds
to get down to 195 and am still dropping. Obviously, it appears that I'll reach my goal weight in another month,
but this is doubtful as it seems to be getting harder to lose weight with every pound as I get closer
to my goal. I am currently at the lightest I've been in about 10 years and love the thinner waist. Atkins does
decrease my energy (due to way lower blood sugar), but I'm back to the gym in full force and even got in another
qualifying race last Saturday. I have one more race to go and I'm guaranteed to make it into the 2004 marathon!
I would say that I staunchly recommend Atkins, but I can't say this honestly. I enjoy the challenge of finding
something to eat that will match the Atkins plan as it's my form of intellectual exercise in the daily food hunt.
Rather than following smells, I am forced to consciously add components to make a meal that will work. By the way,
it's also the most expensive diet that I know of. While dining with your friends, you can't eat the $12 pasta, but
instead must opt for the $24 steak. This sounds great at first, but after a while the budget adds up. Those things
aside, I wouldn't say that Atkins or the Eat Less diet are what's needed for people to lose weight. I would say
that the common denominator is simply sheer force of will. Whatever the diet du jour is will work as long as
the brain is there to filter what goes into the mouth. This pattern is easy for a week or two. But it becomes
onerous when I discovered I had to make plans to starve for months. The last month has proven that I'm pretty well adapted
to this type of discipline. It gets easier over time, but those first few weeks are diet breakers.
I just thought I'd write about this daily struggle, and it is daily. I am consistently aware of what and
how much I eat. Even just last night I had a "nightmare" about eating carbs, but it was way too stupid to relay
here. And I thought this whole marathon thing was just going to be a cakewalk.
| » An update!|
Spamassassin continues to do its good work on my mailbox. Recently, my o' most excellent
host upgraded my service to include the latest version of Spamassassin and now I get even less spam
than before! I'm getting so little email that I was beginning to think that my email box wasn't working
and engaged in rigorous testing to be positive that yes, I do have that few real emails coming to me.
Today is the first day that my mind started drifting listlessly and began the hazy focusing
on that nearby future that some call vacation. Yes, it's that time again to take a paid leave of absence
using my incredibly generous american two week vacation and shove seven weeks worth of activities into
that time slot. To be different this year, rather than ruthlessly
haggling with travel agents and hotel reservations by going in off-tourist season, Tulay and I have
decided to help support the trampled and downtrodden airlines by paying their backbreaking on-tourist
season prices. I've read countless times how the person sitting next to you could have paid 50% or
even 30% of the price you paid when you are a bargain hunter. Now, if you see me, you can be
comforted in the knowledge that I am helping subsidize your trip...relax the drinks are on me.
Technical evangelists (like moi) need to stay on the bleeding edge of technology, being a first-adopter
to waste countless hours learning technology that will likely be deprecated next week. In that spirit
I've jumped on the bandwagon to test out a technology coming from the 1930's and am eagerly testing the
Dvorak keyboard. Already, I can
confidently inform you that it will make you about 1/100th as efficient at typing as you are today. If
you have to look at your keys to type, then you will like the proverbial monkey typing Shakespeare since
I doubt you will actually buy the keyboard and will still be looking at your QWERTY setup trying to decipher
your newly randomized key pattern. Reasons for adopting the Dvorak keyboard include:
With this sort of ringing endorsement, I am sure that I will compel others to adopt the Dvorak keyboard and
end the oppression of Qwerty forever!!
- Annoying coworkers who want to "borrow your computer for a sec".
- Reliving that collegiate frustration of learning to type all over again.
- Qwerty/Dvorak debates crop up frequently at cocktail parties and you'll be in-the-know!
- Eliminating your past spelling errors to misspell a whole new group of words.
- Ensuring that you so carefully and painstakingly think about every word in your two sentence instant message that you never send it.
| » Tired of spam?|
Finally, I have gotten so sick of spam that I did something about it. I snapped out
of my usual email daze of automatically glazing over and deleting the oh-so-tantilizing email
offers of russian women, penis enlargement, viagra offers and low mortgage rates and thought
"There has to be a better way." Hell, I'm a linux geek and I know somebody out there has some
spam prevention tool to use to slow this down. A few googles later and I was led to SpamAssassin. Not exactly the easiest setup in the world, but
I painstakingly went through each and every step for hours, getting every little detail working.
Then, as an afterthought, checked my mail server since the service I use has linux. Yep, they
had it already. After seething for some time, I simply turned on their service and started testing.
SpamAssassin does many things for you. For the layman, you need to know one thing: it marks your
email with a header titled "*****SPAM*****". This means you can set up a folder in your email
client and set a rule to route all email with that in the header to the SPAM folder (or in your
trash) and you never have to see it again. I've been using it for some weeks now and am *quite*
happy. I only had one false positive and it was an email from a friend who had forwarded some
advertisement to me...I wasn't heartbroken. Today, I downloaded 35 emails. 28 were sent to the
trash bin and I had 5 false negatives. Yeah, it's 5 emails that I still have to delete, but it's a
heck of a lot better than deleting all 33.
| » Vacation in Orlando!|
I snuck away for a 3 day weekend down in Orlando this past thursday night. Pictures
to follow as soon as Tülay moves the pictures to the nearest computer. The trip revolved
around some tickets I bought for Discovery Cove and
everything else was planned around it. Actually, no planning was involved other than get
some tickets and see what there was to do in Orlando...just the type of trip I like.
I must say the start was exciting enough! We made it to the checkin of the airport an hour
before the scheduled departure. And raced to the the security standpoint expecting that to be
the longest delay. I went through without a problem and turned to see Tülay discussing something
with the security people. It seems that one of the ladies working in security was having a bad
day I guess and was pestering Tülay about what she had in her hand. That was her first mistake.
She then took the item from Tülay's hand without further question and started unwrapping it.
That was her 2nd mistake. Once the security woman had the item fully unwrapped she looked up
with utter disgust at Tülay, then Tülay explained a little more loudly..."I
threw up!". It seems the cab ride to the airport was less than friendly to Miss Tülay's
equilibrium. It's truly amazing how quickly one can get shuttled through a security checkpoint
when the security personnel are holding another's bodily fluids...
After laughing until tears came out, we had a pleasant flight down to the Sunshine state. It
was cloudy the entire time we were there, but I was happy. Nothing against the sun, I like the
sun...it just doesn't like me. I must say I was very happy with the Holiday Inn on Continental
Drive. The price was great and the room was fantastic. The location was even better, located
about a mile north of Disneyworld (if you're into that) and 1/2 mile South of Universal Studios theme
Park and 1/2 mile North of Discovery Cove. We checked in at about midnight and left for a very
late dinner. I'd like to pause a moment and rant about Dollar
Rent-a-car. Yes, I ended up with a family van, which I sort of enjoyed since it handled so
well and was an upgrade. But the reservation I made with a set price had absolutely no meaning
to these people. They didn't even think to honor it or even care that I was attempting to
argue. Yeah, I haggled them down $50, but I was way too tired to go the full 10 yards with them.
It seems the only place open to eat at midnight was Denny's, so we directed the minivan there
where we enjoyed Moons Over My Hammy and a chicken fried steak. We slept soundly in a our human
cavern until about 10am and strolled over to the hotel's ticket booth to decide how to spend
our Friday. We happened upon Islands of
Adventure a Universal Studios theme park (evidently they own several there). I would
definitely recommend this one as fun for the family! We tested the Dr. Seuss's Cat in
The Hat ride to ease us into the riding mood. I must say the best ride I think I've ever been on
is the Spiderman ride there! The virtual reality mixed with real blasts of flame and heat on your
face rips the screams out of your throat!
...Wow! One month passed while this part sat in my editor....if anybody tells you writing a blog is
easy, you know they've never tried...
| » Web site design 101|
Well, Mr. Kiser seems to be a bit more on the ball
than I anticipated. For those of you who didn't onHover the link, he went through a little
work to get his site moved over to therus.net. Looks like
he found some decent rates at $100/year, I guess since mine is $9.95 a month that means he's
paying ..um...9.95 .. times 12...is 2 times 5 and carry the one ...is 8 and ... well, it doesn't
really matter he's paying more than me and that's what counts.
Now in answer to Mr. Kiser's comments, yes, I am a Perl wiz, at least that's what the
recruiters tell me after they've raked over my site with their custom search engines to find
my resume tell me. For a simple web site like mine, I would say
that it's just planning. It's a pain to maintain the journal so it should be easy, set up the
structure so you just have to go in, add an entry, upload it and be done. I've done this
by not using Perl, but by using Style Sheets (CSS) and Server-Side Includes (SSI). The style
sheets manage the looks of the fonts and tables and the SSI takes care of the head and tail
of my pages. So all I do is go in, pick my template and start typing and I'm done. For the
record, here is my template:
<!--#include file="header.ssi" -->
<!-- Body -->
<TABLE border=1 borderColor="#084e84" cellPadding=0 cellSpacing=0 width=600>
<TR><TD bgColor=#f7f7f7 class=nobordercell colSpan=2> » <!--title-->
<TD class=nobordercell height=14 width=80>
<TD class=nobordercell height=14 width=520>
<TD class=nobordercell WIDTH=5><IMG height=1 width=5
<TR><TD class=nobordercell colSpan=2><IMG height=5 width=5
<!-- ydoB -->
<!-- Footer -->
<TD height=38><IMG height=40 src="images/bottom.png" width=650></td>
<!-- retooF -->
And then I just go in and fill out the form. I like simple. Simple doesn't break.
So I would say, pick a design first, then get some idea of a nav layout and run with
it. The more work you put into the site the more effort it becomes to maintain it
and therefore you will avoid it. I already noticed the bevelled edges of the graphics
went away on the latest set. It's a pain to maintain.
| » Moi|
My song repertoire is growing. In the list is Auld Lang Syne, Kumbaya, Little Brown Jug,
Swing Low/Sweet Chariot, and other favorites. ;-) The latest is is Aura Lee, more popularly
known as Love Me Tender and I'm currently going through Blue Suede Shoes. The guitar is
now becoming a bit more relaxing as I can play for a long period of time (~1 1/2 hours) without
my fingers becoming sore to the touch.
I updated my about page with a few more pictures, you are welcome
to go take a peek. I can't help mentioning my observation that
Rus' bold claim to update his site more
often that mine appears to being barely holding true. Let's keep an eye on his site and harass
him if that's the case.
| » News|
How many "New Phases" to
this terrorist war are there?! Every time I see a new headline it's about another phase, as
if this is completely going towards some big plan. At least government officials have slowed
down saying quotes like "We're closing in!" and "It's only a matter of weeks!" as if Bin
Laden would get captured on queue. It sounded stupid months ago and it continues to sound
stupid. Not that I don't think he's going to be captured, but because of the uncertainty of
the situation and we are listening to certain statements from Bush et al.
On the same note, I'm starting to get concerned about the lack of hard evidence against Bin
Laden. I think he is a psycho that needed to get pugilized, but we've heard since day one that
there was evidence against him, hence the attack. Sure, we're getting after the fact information
like the videotape and the crucial interview with the wife, but what was the smoking gun? I think
I'd like to see it before we start in on Saddam.
| » Random shtuff|
The Olympics are on! Actually, I have a question. Who is watching them? I mean, I know
that Drudge is reporting "Gusher ratings" for NBC,
but I sure haven't contributed to that. Every time I flip them on hoping for something cool
I get figure skating. I could swear that they were still showing figure skating after the
gold medal was awarded! Sure, I caught a great game of hockey between the US and Belarus. (ooh,
didn't the US crush them in the last period?!) But later after I got home and I was very certain
that the last of figure skating was finally over because hockey was on...NBC announced ice dancing!!!
Now don't get me wrong. It's not that I dislike these events...they are very pretty. But
that's not the problem. The problem is that they aren't sports. They are art.
And as arts, they belong in some other group than the Olympics. I'm sure the ancient Greeks
never envisioned figure skating on ice alongside the javelin throw. (Actually, come to think
of it, they probably couldn't even imagine ice.) So why am I bothering pointing this out? Because
it needs to be decided what belongs in the Olympics. If something such as Ice Dancing is there
then why not ballet? How about Salsa Dancing? Karate's kata? All of these qualify just as
easily as Ice Dancing. What determines what belongs in the Olympics? How would I define a sport?
I think a good place to start would be any activity that requires you to smile to win the
gold is not a sport. Look at all the trouble that's being caused by figure skating...the
ambiguities of vote trading, weak and impressionable judges, and on and on. Compare the
incredible rulebook of deciding who wins in figure skating with that of a shotput toss or
a footrace. Hell, I'll include racing on ice...I even enjoy watching that. Who can argue when
they see the shotput land? The person who threw it the furthest wins. Simple, huh? Everybody
watching knows who won. No ambiguity. On the other hand, figure skating needs a team of experts
from many different countries judging scoring and deducting based on opinions, complex rules that the
audience can barely understand. Clearly, political influences are a factor, one would assume
that the judges could be impacted by illness or be having a bad day. They could be prejudice or
trading votes for other golds as evidenced by today's headlines. What a headache! I say out with
| » Even more about Me!|
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope all is well and you are enjoying the day. I
am. Actually it's almost over, but I feel like I accomplished a lot. The last couple
of days things just came together at work and I made huge progress on my project. I just
ordered 5 more books and Perl and they are still sitting in the box. Actually, I'm pretty
psyched to tear it open and start reading...especially the one about
biotech and Perl. Actually the term is "bioinformatics". Terms like this always remind
me of a comedian I saw who made fun of scientists because they named things like Ursus
Americanus when they could just say black bear...then they can claim that they know
more about a bear because they created a complex name for it. Amusing, but many times
it's true, especially in marketing. Remember the word our favorite company Transmeta created
to get funding? Codemorphing! I have to respect that they actually used it and got cold,
I've gotta submit in my friend's site who took off on the adventure of a lifetime to Seoul,
Korea. He told me that "Alaska looked great!" when he flew over it. I have to admit, I was
very skeptical about what you could see from 35,000 ft...and what was there could be great. But
check out his pics! I must admit
that I'm incredibly jealous of anyone who ups and leaves to live in another culture. I think
the chance to really see the inside of another culture by immersing oneself for some time...not
just a week in the capital city. Good luck, Rus! And keep the pictures coming! Maybe you
could even fill out the journal some. =)
| » Me again!|
Work is being done on the site! You can check out the growing *nix page or run to see
my shiny new Chicago trip page.
| » Me|
Guitar practice is reaching new levels. My fingers are calloused and rough like
they've never been before...and my playing ability still stinks! I'm amazed at what
others must have to go through in order to perfect their finger position. How somebody
can play a recognizable song without string rattles or missed notes is beyond my
comprehension. I can't even cheat yet and disguise the sound. I'm beginning to suspect
true mastery may take more than a month....
| » News|
Ugh...nothing worse than getting sick over the weekend to greet a Monday. =(
At least I just have a bad cold so far so am living life through a haze. I'm following
my voodoo doctor's instruction of plenty of fluids, vitamins, and rest. I tend to believe
this doctor since he doesn't just blindly issue a prescription for the latest antibiotic
and send me on my way. Maybe because being a GP isn't his goal and he's trying to become
a specialist. His usual methodology is to pound into my head this same regiment of fluids,
rest, and vitamins and then send me on my way. =)
I think I've crossed over into a new threshold of geekdom. I say this because even my
computer geek friends don't care about the things that I'm doing with my computer. Lately
I've completely modularized my kernel -- running just the bare minimums and dynamically loading
the modules as they are needed. Actually, every piece of software on my machine is custom
built now, not just the kernel. Ever since I took the leap and descended into the bowels
of open source computing, the need to customize my machine has grown steadily. To the point
that I'm fantasizing about finding a more difficult system to master. The base system that
I started with was Red Hat 7.1, but it's far from recognizable as this anymore. Nothing
wrong with Red Hat...well...yes there is or I wouldn't have "fixed" everything. Now I have
a system that is extremely stable and conducive to all kinds of activities up to, and including
Enough with the confessions, for the quasi-geek I have a draft of RDBMS up on my site for
your review. It's an attempt to explain Databases in general so I think the graphics are
going to have to change to match the ideology.
| » News|
Looks like the war on
genetic modification isn't going to be won in the womb. I had
thought originally that modifying and improving human genetics would follow the trend
of parents modifying children to be better. Sure...maybe it sounds bad at first..but people
won't just be buying genetic modifications from a menu next year. It would likely
start by fixing some critical illnesses..then lesser illness...etc. It would soon graduate
to creating a child that was at least average in all respects. Of course this would change
the meaning of "average" and would require more modification. Otherwise you could risk your
child growing up being consistently below average in speed/strength/height/intellect/endurance
and whatever other genes could be tracked.
However - the introduction of athletes into the picture has changed my prediction. The past
has proven that athletes are quite willing to modify their bodies to do whatever it takes to
win. From weight-training to cross-training to steroids to creatine...now it's genetic
modification. It will occur. How can it be stopped? Some athletes are already genetic
mutants naturally. Are
the family trees going to be analyzed to check for consistency?! No...this is a battle the
IOC has already lost.
We can already add
genetic modifications into fruits to alter the body. The steps to evolving these
performance enhancements into other consumables should be minimal with a little economic
incentive. This cannot be policed and if attempted will only guarantee that those
people who do not play by the rules will win.
| » News|
It's one of those not so infrequent times that I get to pat myself on the back. (It
is my own forum...I can do that)
Transmeta is in its death throes. Who would have guessed?
Not the investors who ran the ill-fated company stock up to $50 a share for a $22
billion market cap. Not the analysts at
Deutsche Banc, Morgan Stanley, Solomon, or Banc of America who all vehemently told us
to buy a stock that has tanked miserably. Not their venture capitalists who were pummelled with the
rest of us investors in the trenches. I guess that just leaves me.
| » News|
A month into our new war and where are we? I don't even want to mention the A word. The media is
talking about it constantly. Useless information...all they needed to do was tell us that anthrax
was going through the mail and how to prevent it. Of course, that's the
CDC's job but they've been almost as quiet as the UN was after 911. Now we're stuck in this
mindless information circle where the media reports on anthrax and then reports that they are
reporting on anthrax too much. Grr...
CNN has now taken a new tact, they are enjoying sneaking in reporters to show us how terrible the
Taliban are. In depth reports about how the women are treated, how disgusting their public executions are,
how unjust the politics and pervasive the religion. I think they are forgetting what the goal is here and
are confusing many about what we are fighting for. Justice is the goal and "bringing justice to our
enemies" is the means to achieving this goal. This is manifesting itself in a campaign against
Afghanistan's ruling regime.
The goal is not to sharpen the cultural divide by displaying these differences and pontificating about
how terrible they are. Our goal should never be to impose our own cultural values on other nations. We
should not even waste thought on what they do to their own people. Sure, I'm for freedom. I don't like how
they treat their women. I don't like the violence. But that's no reason for the US to go in and tell them
what's right. They can tie their women to trees if that's their culture and our only course of action should
be to try to suggest to them a "better" way of life or perhaps a more creative, noninvasive solution.
Is this an important point? It is. This is an ongoing conflict. It is nothing short of harmful for the
media to portray the entire culture as evil. It blurs the issue. Bringing Bin Laden to justice, whatever
justice is in this case, is the goal. Judging other cultures can be left to other ignorant nations.
Now, that said, Bin Laden is actually a smaller goal of eliminating terrorism. Of course, this
has exactly the same chances of succeeding as eliminating crime in a nation, however I think it is proper
to set this goal to establish a world community. With this higher goal in mind, it introduces a larger
problem of actively policing the world for these terrorists. Nations like Afghanistan are fantastic
breeding grounds for terrorists. An
illiterate, poor population who can be easily manipulated by religion to further the goals of the
government. What should the new global alliance against terrorism to do against states that prime
themselves to become weapons? It seems Afghanistan's dire situation has directly led to its being
duped into becoming a pawn for other states to spread terror. A laundry for terrorism.
| » News|
One of the most appalling quotes I've found:
U.S. Rep. John Cooksey, R-Monroe, told a network of Louisiana radio
stations Monday that someone "wearing a diaper on his head" should
expect to be interrogated in the investigation of terrorist attacks
on the Pentagon and New York City.
This is wrong on many different levels. Firstly, he's referring to turbans which are
indicative of the Sikh religion.
Secondly, he calls it a diaper to characterize the act as filthy or silly -- belittling another
religion in a country where politics is supposedly seperated from religion. Thirdly, he is
a representative of the state of Louisiana and of the US making irrational, incorrect statements to the
world on an already volatile situation.
| » News|
What is the US uncovering? Arrests in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, a
10-year-old boy was shot in India and a supportive Taliban note left behind.
We have a situation where the criminals really are all over the world instead of located in a few countries.
It's interesting how many people tend to want the US to find the "source" or the
cause of these terrorist attacks instead of going after the terrorists themselves. The idea being that we have
treat the disease, not just the symptoms of the disease. In a similar, but smaller scale
environment, NYC's Mayor Giuliani was also advised of this course of action in handling the rampant crime in the
city. He swept aside this advice and took the tough course of action of arresting all people who broke the
law. The result has been a substantial reduction in crime in the New York area. It is very safe. I think
this same ideology can be applied to this situation as well. Another even more direct example is Turkey's capture
of the leader of the PKK who was responsible for
numerous terrorist attacks in the eastern part of their country. Turkey still has Abdullah Ocalan under arrest
and the warned reprisal attacks never occurred.
Can the US succeed against Afghanistan after the notorious failure and withdrawal of Russia in 1989?
That was also a Holy War--of course, all wars are Holy Wars when the government and the religion are one
in the same. Russia failed because our very own CIA was funneling huge amounts of money and weapons to
Afghanistan in support. Since Russia's withdrawal, Afghanistan has had much internal strife as witnessed by
the uprising of the Taliban government. Without another superpower supporting them, they cannot rally much of
of a force to withstand the US. However, the US's goal needs to be clearly defined here. Ending the state,
as Bush has mentioned seems a lofty goal. Destroying Asama Bin Laden's bases seems more focused, and I'm sure
this time the General Powell will not make the mistake of leaving the leader in power free. Problematically,
Bin Laden has bases (Al Qaeda) in many arab countries (26 known) and a suspected one in China.
How do we contain these cells?
What is the market going to do on Monday? It's a tough call. Typically one would think that
war will help the economy and the US is going to be motivated to succeed financially against this tragedy. I wish
that during a presidential address Bush would call to the US citizens to put in 150% on each
workday next week to show what Americans can do when motivated, I think it would help. The airlines are
giving us a glance at the new future. A future where US citizens do not travel around the world as freely and save
and spend their money at home. This will happen for a while, certainly longer in arab countries where americans
would be foolish to tread. Given that the airlines are experiencing a brutal drop in overseas travel
we are almost certainly going to see international trade plummet as a result. Tourism will fall dramatically in
foreign nations and this will undoubtedly hurt countries reliant upon this income. Falling economies abroad affects
the US adversely. This will be reflected in Monday's markets when they open.
Is the US destined to repeat this
| » News|
As I'm sure most of you know I live in Manhattan and have been out of the city due to the events there.
I live about 3/4 mile from the wreckage and I and everyone I know is completely safe. To all those who
found me on ICQ and wished me well, I thank you tremendously for your well wishing and will get back to
you all individually. It is truly heartwarming to see so many nations send messages to a stranger online.
I won't bore you with a play-by-play of my experiences of the terrorist attack as they were minimal. Suffice
it to say that I was displaced from my apartment for several days as my apartment was isolated with no
transportation in the area as the rescue workers organized. I went back several times to pick up
necessities, but the smoke, dust, constant sirens, and roars of F-16s was too unpleasant to bear for long.
The fear of further attacks of other types is an additional reason to stay away for the time being. I'm on
about every list to be a volunteer but don't have much hope as there are so many others doing the same thing.
So, with all this free time and energy, I've become a news junkie like many others on Wall Street locked
from their jobs.
War. Are we in one? Can we declare war on a religion? Specifically, a "radical" muslim sect? It
seems strange that ever since the evolution of the nation-state war has been the owners of one piece of land
(the state) and its people (the nation) versus the owners of another piece of land and its people. It is
hard to imagine this changing but it has. We have been thrown back to before that time to when nations
attacked nations and the actual space of land didn't matter. Even more accurately, we have a time where
a nation has committed an act of war versus a nation-state. This can be war...but a strange one it is. One
side has declared a holy war on a nation-state composed of many religions including its own. It has acted
with impunity killing people from many different areas in the world including its own. They've killed 0.18% of
themselves voluntarily so far with their suicides, which is a start...I think the rest of the world will help
| » News|
Labor Day weekend is over! Mine started
with an excellent day skydiving! I highly recommend it.
I'm certain I've never been so terrified in my life.
Imagine every drop of adrenaline getting ripped
out of your gland and pumped into your bloodstream. That happened during my first five seconds of
freefall...I had 50 more seconds to go. It boggles the mind that one minute you can be toodling up
in your rental car, the next in a camp of 60's throwbacks being shuttled into a bus where you really
do sign your life away to become a
test parachutist. You are then whisked away to a plywood shanty masquerading as a plane
fuselage to get minimal instructions from a man who I am certain was thoroughly stoned. Pose for
pictures as your friends laugh at you while you arch like a seal balancing a ball on its nose.
Next they rush you off to get suited up in a harness that is strapped dangerously close to your private personal
parts. You barely have time to wonder about the unimaginable pain you could experience when the chute
catches before you are scrambling on board a plane commando style and packed mercilessly into the cozy
quarters. Here is your one chance to "rest". In fact, most of the instructors (literally chained onto
all the trainees backs) actually slept. This does nothing to soothe you. Neither does the earth falling
away or the altimeter on your left hand increasing itself to the value to where you know they are
going come awake. 13,500 feet later, the door opens and freezing air blasts you. The entire amount of
foreplay I recieved from my instructor was "Nice view, huh?" "...yeah" "Let's go" and I jumped.
The rest of the experience was burned into my mind forever. One item of the list of Things To Do
Before You Die can be crossed off forever...what's next?
| » News|
Now all the links have pages and I've made the site modular enough to be even less
maintenance. I know I keep optimizing and optimizing, but I can't help it. Ideally,
I'd like to have the site so I can think about an update and it will update itself.
I'm quite happy to have moved the site from NetFirms
to a new provider based on my friend Jesse's recommendation. I'm now hosted at
Hurricane Electric for $9.95 a month. They seem to have a full
range of self service and don't mind if you grow your own hacks on their site as long
as you leave the source code for their review. I quickly tested out access via FTP and telnet...then
moved straight to SSH out of habit. For some reason they don't have it running so I guess I'll
have to install
it. Very bizarre since everyone knows that FTP and telnet use clear text passwords. I guess they
have confidence that nobody is on their network....or that they don't mind losing my data. We'll
see. I also checked out their MySQL database they set up for me. It's all part of the service, I'm
not using it yet, just being nosy and testing out my new bannerless site. All that I've taken
advantage of so far are the SSI's
a bunch of files that contain the body. Clean. =)
I'm planning on fleshing out the navbar for my technical things and notes that I gather.
Several pages are already complete and I'm changing the navbar some to reflect a more general
| » News|
Hey folks! New site! How do you like it? Pretty clean and painless, just don't click
on any of the links since they still have the old site and some don't even have pages. ;-)
But it's all about the home page, right?? At least I have a good front page, it's kind of
like the buildings here in Manhattan where they replace the front brick and leave the sides
ancient and crumbling.
New technologies, you ask? Well, there are a few since the last one was created a few years
ago. Now my standard is an independent style sheet since most browsers support them instead of
embedded in the page itself and I'm using PNG's
which are compressing my graphics 5 times smaller than the GIF's I was using. Essentially, my
test is anything that works in Mozilla makes me happy and will certainly work on IE.
| » News|
Well, it looks like the recording industry has been
thwarted again by the music community. Finally, the RIAA
and the judges in the cases are figuring out what a monumental effort they are up
against. It's surprising that they can't even stop Napster, the music community
already has hundreds of alternatives lined up in case Napster falls...many of them
better than Napster itself. (we could all write a better Napster) So...
I would like to be the first to warmly welcome the RIAA to the software industry.
Welcome to a new business model of assuming expected losses through piracy of your
product. Welcome to a new next-to-free distribution model. Welcome to high-speed
innovation. Welcome to commoditization and immediate duplication and distribution.
Thousands of software companies survive with these business models, many of them
making more than the entire RIAA combined income of a paltry $14 billion.
Sure, it's gonna cost to train staff and reposition yourselves to take advantage
of this new model, but what's it gonna cost? Napster is being sued for $20 billion, I
think the effort spent on the lawsuits is better spent preparing for the future.
| » News|
One quick update, more will be coming. Amazingly, people actually
check my site for updates, I've really gotta make this easier to modify.
Right now, I drug the page down and am editing it in vi. Not a
bad thingtm, I suppose, but it's easy to get carried away
with a nice GUI editor like DreamWeaver.
New photos are being scanned for the site! Check in later and see if
I've been slacking at work to create a few nice pics of my recent trip to
Turkey and Greece and the excellent people I met along the way.
That's my quick update, back to work, you can see how the progress is
coming at zeo and if you're really
special you'll have a password to check out the beta site!