31 July 2003

I Am The Only Being Whose Doom [Filed under: Uncategorized]

Pardon me while I indulge in just a touch of wistful self-loathing, made beautiful by my dear friend Miss Emily Brontë:

I am the only being whose doom
No tongue would ask no eye would mourn
I never caused a thought of gloom
A smile of joy since I was born

In secret pleasure—secret tears
This changeful life has slipped away
As friendless after eighteen years
As lone as on my natal day

There have been times I cannot hide
There have been times when this was drear
When my sad soul forgot its pride
And longed for one to love me here

But those were in the early glow
Of feelings not subdued by care
And they have died so long ago
I hardly now believe they were

First melted off the hope of youth
Then Fancy’s rainbow fast withdrew
And then experience told me truth
In mortal bosoms never grew

’Twas grief enough to think mankind
All hollow servile insincere—
But worse to trust to my own mind
And find the same corruption there

Thank you, Emily. I shall always treasure the times we spent together.

NP: Taking Back Sunday, Cut From The Team

21 July 2003

Small changes [Filed under: Uncategorized]

Not that it matters much, but I spent tonight making a few small but nifty changes to the ol’ website. First, I added a “robots.txt” file to tell spiders and crawlers which pages should be indexed. You won’t notice any difference as a result, of course (unless you happen to be one of said spiders/crawlers…), but it sure will clean up my referrer logs, which tend generally to be a big mess of 404s.

In a further effort to clean the logs, I have also added the all-important “favicon.ico” icons to my pages. If you are accessing my pages using Internet Explorer, you are unlikely to notice any change, unless you bookmark my page. Netscape 6+/Mozilla and Opera users (as well as Safari, I believe, though I need to check on that) should see a small JokeofAllTrades icon in the address bar of their browser (if the bar is displayed), and as an added bonus it should match the selected skin/color scheme for the site. Pointless? Yes, of course. But moderately fun for me, and no trouble for you.

NP: Pineforest Crunch, Situation Endless

14 July 2003

Mailings of Mass Distribution [Filed under: Uncategorized]

I find the dynamics of internet meme popularity fascinating. Something explodes onto the scene, sort of plateaus in popularity, and then it hits a secondary market of sorts—a whole new population that missed it on the first go-round—and it takes off again.

The latest of these to hit my inbox first arrived almost two months ago. It was a simple request to go to Google, type in “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button. Up pops a page that looks like the standard Internet Explorer “This page cannot be displayed” page, but with some added social commentary (the effect is naturally somewhat diminshed for those of us who don’t use MSIE all the time). I hesitate to create another link to this thing, but if you must see it, you can find it here.

Strangely, this thing has shown up in my inbox almost 10 times in the past week. Normally, the only email I get is spam, but this has been coming from friends. I do appreciate the thought, that you wanted to share with me a laugh, or at least a dolorous smile and shaking head. Really, I appreciate it. I can only say, though, at this point: message received. No need to send me another message telling me to Google “Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

I should also probably clear up some seemingly common misconceptions. First of all, the page to which the message refers has nothing to do with Google. It’s a piece of satire written by a guy who maintains a website about adverse drug reactions. Second, he wrote it months ago. Now, it’s everywhere.
If, by chance, it is (or was) the first page that Google returns on that particular search, it has gotten there entirely because certain people keep sending other certain people to that page, and certain people keep linking to it, etc.

If you want to know what memes are “fresh” and what aren’t, there is help. Good places to look include Memepool and Boing Boing and, you know, Google.


On an entirely different note, I think I’m teetering on the edge of insanity. All I can say is, “Ooh, the pretty colors!”

NP: The Decemberists, Grace Cathedral Hill

1 July 2003

Hardware problems [Filed under: Uncategorized]

On Saturday night, the hard drive on my server melted down. For the most part, this wouldn’t be an issue, since everything is backed up nightly, but I did lose everything I updated during the day on Saturday and any (heh—joke at my own expense to follow) comments that anyone might have left.

Of course, Saturday was the day I had chosen to write large amounts of wildly interesting things and to add several new and fascinating links to my links page. All gone bye-bye.

In place of all that I have lost, I can only substitute a few paltry neat-o links I was able to remember, since I am currently on lunch at work, and I’ve been here since 7:00 a.m., and I was up quite late last night working, and I’m too tired to give you anything requiring thought on my part.

Still, these are pretty swell links. Adam Felber is a frequent panelist on the NPR game show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!. Turns out, he’s also a blogger. Funny, too. He’s also running for president.

Also, see Dreems for loads of fun. For some reason, it reminds me of Shel Silverstein.

NP: Edith Frost, Wonder Wonder