I know I’ve said this before, but my apologies to everyone I’ve completely ignored for the past ten days or so. You can’t imagine how overextended I’ve been between the fact that this is the busiest time of year for pretty much all my web clients and the fact that my first two weeks back in school proved a bit more hectic than I’d envisioned. Throw in one major family gathering, one part-time job, and several assorted minor crises, and you have me, as of today.

It’ll be better in about two weeks.

If you’re starved for content, though, you can watch me being mentioned on the local morning news.

The First Paper

My left arm hurts like hell, the result of a tetanus shot I had to have today in order to continue with school. Seems UNCG shredded my last set of immunization records ten years after I graduated (they keep them forever now, for all the good that does me) so I had to reach back into my childhood (and my mom’s files) to piece together what I could. I would’ve needed the tetanus booster anyway, but it’s still annoying.

That said, I’m in a better frame of mind than I was three days ago. I was just a little overwhelmed that I had so much going on all of a sudden. I knew it was temporary, but that didn’t help much. When much of your income is derived working for TV stations, September is a rather hectic time to be starting anything labor-intensive. And underneath it all, I suspect I was really freaked out at the looming due date of my first paper as a graduate student.

As is the case with so many other scary processes, I really just needed to dive in and get started on the damned thing, which I finally did today once most of my paid workload had calmed down a bit. I found a good chunk of supporting research (damn, there’s a lot of information available online when you have access to a major university library), made up my outline, and finally realized late this afternoon that I would probably get through this paper with no problem and might even do a passably good job on it.

The topic, for the masochists among you, is the effect of commercial search engine technologies on the value of the information acquired through them, and related implications for information professionals. Do I know how to have a fun weekend or what?


The September curse has returned. I don’t think I’ve typed the word correctly even once today. Or this month.

Thing that annoys me today: DNS propagation. You’d think it would be more of a science and less of a crap shoot by this point in internet history, but no. I transferred a domain for a client yesterday afternoon. By this morning, it was resolving to the correct IP address for me, but not for the client. Now, it’s reverted to the old IP address even for me.

When I check with the host and do various “whois” searches, everything seems OK, so I assume the current problem is with some Time Warner DNS server somewhere. That wouldn’t be a surprise, since (based on their speed) I think most of Time Warner’s DNS servers are running on IBM 286 machines connected to the internet via 2400-baud modems anyway.

Should I be worried that I’m spending my Saturday night bitching about DNS servers?

Mod Con

Luxury home or cellblock? You be the judge

I’m as much a modernist as the next guy (and probably more of one), but what passes for modernism today is often more about shock value than any sort of architectural principle. It’s no less contrived than a Victorian with lots of gingerbread; only the building materials are different.

Just Another Frantic Friday

Observation du jour, after a mildly unpleasant Friday: why do so many ad agencies and design firms (disctinctions blur these days) have such a nagging tendency to find the absolute most complicated manner possible of completing any given task? I suppose it’s an easy way to maximize billable hours, which is probably why they also get so bloody territorial about it when you call them on it.

No, I’m not going to be any more specific, because I plan to take a lot of business away from this particular firm as a result of my class, grace under pressure, and old-fashioned customer service skills. Not to mention my humility.

It’s 9:00. May I have my weekend now, please?

Critical Mess

I knew there was still intelligent life in San Francisco, but it’s rare that you see evidence of it in the Chronicle:

Tim Holt “Critical Mass turns 15” (Sept. 14) compares the civil disobedience of the civil rights movement with that of Critical Mass. Hard to see what people risking their lives fighting for voting rights have in common with elitists on $3,000 bikes who deliberately disrupt traffic to make it hard for working people to get home. In his attempt to elevate this juvenile obstructionism, Holt trivializes a great historical movement.

The above is a letter to the editor in response to this nonsense by guest columnist Tim Holt about how an anarchist slugfest that has antagonized motorists, pedestrians, transit users, and damned near everyone else in San Francisco every month for fifteen years has been an overwhelmingly “affirming” process. To paraphrase another letter writer, the mind boggles at the thought of how many great things cyclisyts might have accomplished without the PR debacle that is Critical Mass.

Fairs and Houses

Another reason I miss Los Angeles more than San Francisco: you rarely saw houses driving down the freeway in San Francisco. I’m not sure if that’s because there were so few freeways in SF to begin with, or because people who could afford houses in SF rarely ever took them out for a Sunday drive. Afraid of scratches and dings, y’know?

I am partcularly glad this week that I no longer live adjacent to Folsom Street. I’m also glad it’s almost time for a fair I actually want to go to, as opposed to one that I usually left town to avoid. Lest you argue that this fact makes me seem old, boring, or “sex-negative”, I assure you that I still like sex very much. But the Folsom Street Fair wasn’t really about sex for me. It was usually more about pawing my way through 100,000 annoying, smelly, drunk people (most of whom had very little reason to be exposing so much naked flesh) as I tried to make my way home to watch “The Simpsons”.

Plus, the hot dogs are better at the Dixie Classic.