Friday, August 29, 2003

Season of 9/11

It's starting again. The news stories. The sense of despair. The watching of planes.

Posted at 08:31 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Reverse Engineering

The GAO complains it doesn't know how much influence the energy companies had on the Bush administration's energy policy. Oh yeah? I don't think we need Cheney's notes to figure that one out. A little reverse engineering of the policy and its recommendations leaves little doubt as to who helped craft it.

Posted at 08:48 AM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


Monday, August 25, 2003


Funny thread on Fark about Pittsburgh that tries to answer the questions: Does Pittsburgh stink? and Where's the best fish sandwhich?

Posted at 08:30 AM | comments (1) | trackback (0) | link


Saturday, August 23, 2003

Side Projects

Since I was in full-on geek mode this last week, moving this site to Moveable Type and thus having to recode a lot, I've been thinking a lot about the value of having projects that are your own: not connected to school or work.

Many of the people I look to for inspiration were masters of this. Ben Franklin, aside from being a ridiculously successful printer (he retired at 40), had his experiments, scientific and political. Richard Feynman, when he wasn't working on Nobel-Prize-winning physics, played drums and drew.

My guess is that the mind works better when it is always engaged. This isn't to say that the mind should be a chattering monkey, but rather that you should have something to think about when you don't want (or simply can't), work on your job or schoolwork. I imagine this is why, in earlier eras, so many men had workshops and so many women sewing rooms: to work on projects. It keeps the mind limber and allows for the unconscious part of your brain to process your "regular" work.

The internet is great for side projects. The whole thing is a tinkerer's dream, because you can go nuts with just some server space and a copy of notepad. You can change things 100 times a day if you want. It's a medium for play because (almost) everything is redoable and fixable.

Side projects can, of course, turn into your actual work. Plenty of stories about hobbies that became careers. The trick, I suppose, is to find the right project that is worth your time.

Posted at 08:42 AM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Blog Changes

If you are reading this, it means that my site has moved to its new home on a new server, one that is friendly to Moveable Type. Moveable Type allows me to do a lot of things that Blogger didn't, like

  • categories
  • in-house search
  • recent entries
  • individual archives
  • and, for you rss fans, a stable, good XML feed, including a proper title.

I also made some aesthetic changes, switching my main font from arial to verdana for easier screen reading. This also made me widen the sidebars slightly to accomodate verdana's wider letterforms.

Posted at 03:32 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


Friday, August 8, 2003

On Vacation

I'm away on vacation until the 18th or so. Hopefully I'll return tanned, rested, and ready for school in the fall!

Posted at 12:29 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


Monday, August 4, 2003

Interaction Architect

Interesting diatribe from Tog about job titles and branding what we do (that is, people in UX/Interaction Design), something I've wrestled with for the past three years. His solution: Interaction Architect. Which is kind of growing on me...

Posted at 02:56 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


Sunday, August 3, 2003

Blogging and Hosting Woes

I've gotten numerous complaints about my RSS feeds, and despite all my tinkering, I can't really improve them manually. The stitched-together quality of maintaining this site, with one place for search, another for comments, another for blog-by-email, is really annoying. I thought TypePad was going to be the answer, but after beta testing it and seeing their pricing structure, it definately isn't. To run my two blogs as I want, with my custom templates, would be $15/month, which is really expensive IMHO.

So. I'm looking for a new ISP, one that is MoveableType-friendly. I'm open to suggestions, if any of you have them. MoveableType will fix my RSS problems, give me titles and categories, and make my life easier and the site better. I hope.

Posted at 08:31 AM | comments (1) | trackback (0) | link


Friday, August 1, 2003


I just swam 36 laps/72 lengths of CMU's pool. That is, I just swam a mile. Yay! Now, I must go die somewhere.

Posted at 01:43 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0) | link


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