Thursday, January 31, 2002

Real sucks. Ever since I installed their new Media One player my destop has been acting very strange. I'm removing it from my day time desktop. What a piece of crap. They are doomed.
This space is officially 1 month old today. In the spirit of Dave. One month ago I wrote: "If you stick around here, you'll see what happens." Are you still here?
I thought I wasn't going to have any more Amazing Spam today and then I see this subject in my inbox. Subject: Promote your resume and find a grate job I wonder this has something to do with parmigiano.
Amazing Spam: Subject:URGENT ASSISTANCE {CONFIDENTIAL} From:"John Ewuba" Date:Wed, 30 Jan 2002 16:15:49 -0800 To:steve@hubcitymedia.com Attn.: STEVE Dear sir, I am making this contact with you base on the reliable information I gathered from the council for international co-operation and our camber of commerce. We have concluded to do this business with you base on the assumption that you will never disappoint us. The present civilian government in my country has set up contract review panel and we have identified a lot of inflated contract funds which are presently floating in the Central Bank of Nigeria ready for payment. However, by virtue of our position as civil servants and members of this panel, we cannot acquire this money in our names. I have therefore, been delegated as a matter of trust by my colleagues of the panel to look for an overseas partner into whose account we would transfer the sum of twenty two million dollars. We have agreed to share the money thus: 15% for the account owner (you) 80% for us (the officials) 5% to off-set all local, international expenses incurred in the course of actualizing this transaction. Please note that this transaction is 100% safe and risk free and we hope to complete the transfer lasted fourteen banking days from the date of receipt of the following information, your banks name, address, telephone, fax and telex numbers and your bank account number and your personal (private) telephone and fax number for easy communication. All contacts for now should be through e-mail for security reasons. Waiting your urgent response. Yours faithfully, Engineer John Ewuba.

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

A friend of mine has a band. To put it mildly, they rock. If you're into trancy, psychedelic, psycho-delic, tribal, space jams, then check out The Moroccan Sheephearders. They've got a bunch of mp3s. Download today and trip away.....
Latest googlewhack: rhinoplastic antiquary
Ah those wild Bush girls are at it again. Apparently she tried to get a prescription filled for a sedative at a local pharmacy without actually having a prescription or a medical need. The drug she was trying to score, Xanax , is a doozy and is currently one of a long line of prescription drugs being stolen out of medicine cabinets by the spoiled and strung out teen masses. Maybe George Jr. was wrong last night when he said the new motto for the country changed from "If it feels good, do it!" to "Let's Roll!" Maybe we should change it to "Party on!". Woo! Woo! Let's get high and go swimmin' in the cement pond Noelle!
Bush's State of the Union address was uninspiring. He says before today the nation was "never stronger". Yet he mentions the thousands of terrorists, trained in Al-Qeda camps spread through the world like "ticking time bombs". The economy in this area is crap. Pakistani militants just kidnapped a New York Times journalist. We're at war. Enron. Global Crossing. Never stronger? Hell, I'm still coughing up peices of the World Trade Center! This dude better get a clue. Must run in the family. Then I get into work and I find out Florida towns are casting out Satan. I'm having a tough time loving my country today.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

I'm not going to explain what Googlewhacking is just follow the link and play. My first success "influenza speedbump" with a score of 4140900000 (642000 x 6450). Well, it may not be official since speedbump is not recognized by dictionary.com.
This lecture , by James Burke is fantastic.

Monday, January 28, 2002

Another log to add to the fire surrounding some dissagreement over the web's impact. A friend once told me that James Burke, creator of the Connections series on PBS made the following comparison. Just as the printing press and books disassociated knowledge in time by allowing information and knowledge to be transferred and preserved, the internet has dislodged knowledge, or at least information, from space or physical location. That's a pretty big shift if you ask me and worthy of being called revolutionary.
Weinberger, Matrullo, and Mescellany have had an enlightening discussion on blogging. Mescellany synthesizes best here. Their ideas are shedding some light as to what all this blogging is about and why we do it. It must be filling particular human needs of self expression and experimentation with self. I find these notions of textual, online avatars particularly intriguing since online gaming is feeding off the same human needs of simultaneously exposing our thoughts/emotions/morals, exploring the limits of our person, and trying on new "selves".
Sadly the Eagles did not win the NFC Championship. I hope I don't have to wait another 21 years to see them there again.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

I love cleaning up, i.e. throwing out, old notebook. I found two quotations that I wrote in the front cover of one notebook that I thought were odd in their juxtaposition and also strangely somehow self similar. Let's see what you think.
Put something on your web site. If people hit it call it a product, if not call it market research. -- Jim Barksdale
The more the monkey climbs up the tree, the more people can see his bottom. -- Jean-Louis Gassee
It seems in this post dot-com hangover there are a lot of bottoms in the air for us to see.
Fortune Cookie: A gambler not only will lose what he has, but also will lose what he doesn't have.

Friday, January 25, 2002

From the Stinky Barrel of Fish Heads Department a former enron exec takes the easy way out. Anyone else think he was rubbed out? Maybe I've seen too many movies.
Wow, one more step to net fame. I really do like the guy.
A co-worker said this yesterday in a meeting: "Everything that isn't shit in this world is pee."
I nearly died laughing. He admitted that it's not an original but does anyone know who said this?
There is a big flap over John Katz's review of David Weinberger's new book Small Pieces ,Loosely Joined. I've recently joined the fray in my participation on a thread in the ongoing melee. I've been thinking about it a lot and people who say the net really isn't changing anything in a revolutionary way have no concept of the impact of their own actions on the economy, and culture. Where we used to call people on the phone we now send email. This drains money away from long distance carriers and funnels some of it to ISPs, etc. When we shop on line for books the local book store looses a sale, the online store maybe gets a chance to pull a profit, and FedEx gets a few bucks that it wouldn't normally have received. All these secondary effects add up. They are changing the economy and culture. They are a shift and they are revolutionary. Think of the industry that has popped up around web/internet based technology. (app servers, toolkits, html editors, etc.) Many of those companies didn't exist before 1999. Some may not live very much longer but there will be those that will left standing. I think most of the controversy here is generated by a number of people who are disenchanted with the Internet in the same way some people are disenchanted with the space program. Sure I wish I were writing this from my house on Mars but we're not there, yet.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

Here is a scene between me, The Crusty Curmudgeon of Code and the Hip, Twenty-something, Slacker that sits next to me at work:
The Hip Twenty-something, Slacker (HTS) enters the office after her off-site coffee run, bearing a cup of steaming java, and a non-descript bag containing sugary treats. HTS places the cup and bag next to her keyboard, takes off her coat and plops down into the cheap vinyl torture rack this client calls a chair. The Crusty Curmudgeon of Code (CCC) glances up from his emacs session and speaks.
CCC: Hi. Did you go to Starbucks?
HTS: No way man! I support Mom-n-Pop institutions!
CCC: You mean like child abuse?
HTS: You are too wierd.
CCC: You have no idea....
Fin

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

This is also strange. Notice anything similar between this and that? We must be twisted in the same way. Maybe we're both exhibitionists?
I am nuts and this proves it. Now I guess I can send this guy a check....
Conversations are what the web is all about. I think conversations are what everything is about. Cluetrain infected me with this idea. So why do some bloggers/webloggers/serial web posters never put their email addresses, or have some way to comment about what you just read on their blog? I don't really expect the blogger to write back, acknowledge, or even read what I would send as feedback, but at least there is some chance for an actual conversation to happen. It kind of reinforces some of the ideas in Jon Katz's latest piece on slashdot, Browsing Alone. Does anyone have any insight? It makes me nuts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

I love comics. I'm amazed that I didn't latch onto Astounding Space Thrills sooner. I'm hooked. If anyone doesn't understand my passion for this stuff and you have an open mind, might I suggest Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics? You can even preview some pages. Of course you can always borrow my copy.

Monday, January 21, 2002

From Doc Searls blog I followed this to a new blog by Dave Sifry. I'm going to keep my eye on it. Looks interesting.
Fuel cells are cool. Now you might be able to buy this one soon. Its about time. This stuff has been around since the 1950s.

Saturday, January 19, 2002

It's snowing! Did I mention I love snow?

Friday, January 18, 2002

Oh my, this is the ultimate in Pong fetishism.....
It's windy and New York Harbor is filled with whitecaps. From Battery Park it looks beautiful. The colors are fantastic. So many shades of green, blue, and gray. The waves are crashing against the seawall along the walkway.
The sound track to yesterdays commute home was Manic Depression by Jimi Hendrix. Today's commute in was set to Bertha by the Dead. Actually the cover by Los Lobos.
I have a personal message for these guys. If you want to change something in Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Egypt, or somewhere else then go martyr yourself there please. It will have a much more lasting effect and you may actually change something. Fight for your cause but not here in the US or Europe. Trust me it works. When the founding fathers of our nation wanted independence they fought for it on our soil. We didn't sail ships loaded with gunpowder up the Thames. Just a suggestion.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

I was reading evhead and I came across an entry where he mentions that he thought he saw Spalding Gray in his coffee shop. The description of the encounter, or semi-encounter(?), was shockingly similar to an event in my life where I thought I saw Spalding Gray! It was in Hawaii, on the Big Island, I was on a bus going to the airport. There he was looking at me, sort of wierd, probably because I was looking at him kind of wierd. I think there is something big going on. Maybe everyone has had such an encounter? Maybe he's everywhere.... Maybe everyone has seen him... Maybe he's seen everone....
It's a grey day in the city. Which is fine by me. Gotta work, work, work, today anyway. I'm feeling physically better which is nice. So before I get down an code I thought I'd try a little tomfoolery. Take this test and figure out what kind of Kevin Simith character you are!

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

I dragged my but into my current client's office today. I figured if I'm going to sit around and code I might as well be billable. Actually it wasn't so bad the medication I'm taking seemed to make programming easier in spite of it's warnings that it should not be taken when you need mental alertness. In anycase it seemed to break my recent coding block. Maybe I was too focused. Sometimes you just have to let things flow around you. I'm learning that more these days. Hey still no Starbucks......

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

I'm sick. A virus has invaded my bronchial tubes and is wreaking havoc with my immune system. So far my bodies response has been to knock me off my feet, raise my body temperature, give me aches and pains, and to throw me into convulsive coughing fits that make my eye balls pop out. Oh trust me its been fun. Actually today is not as bad as yesterday. At least today I can pick up a keyboard and type. I trying to watch the news while I'm ill but I just can't pay long enough attention. So I turn to the web. In my codine enduced numbness I check out the news from around the globe with just a few clicks. I don't have to sit through commercials or the silly banter between anchors. Of course there is nothing going on. Nothing at all. So I guess I'll just lie here, surf, and code a bit while the outside world moves on. For today anyway I'm going to let everything flow around me.

Friday, January 11, 2002

On the subway this morning I spotted a woman reading a book explaining Islam. I started to wonder what this woman hoped to gain from studying this book. I'm not sure we can really understand, completely, cultures that seem so alien to our own. I don't mean this in a collective sense but with respect to each person's world view. Maybe she was trying to figure out why it seems that "they" hate us? I'm not sure she's going to find that out in that book. I think Islam isn't telling anyone to hate anyone else at all. I think people are using Islam as a justification for taking up arms and killing their fellow man. It's been happening forever. Christianity had the Crusades and the Inquisition. That's no different is it. To us terrorism is immoral. I'm sure to your average muslim in Jerusalem at the time of the Crusades the invasion was immoral too. So I'm not sure we're going to get anywhere looking for answers in the Quran, but maybe we can find more answers in our own human nature. Finally from the "Stinky Barrel of Fish Heads Deplartment", this article from the Times digs up some bad things on the Bush administration's links to Enron. It seems that Enron's top exec may have gone a week before to probe for a possible bailout deal, Ashcroft has campaign money from Enron, Aurther Anderson has destroyed documents, oh this ones going to be a mess.

Thursday, January 10, 2002

I watched a lot of cable news last night and not one mention of story of some very serious charges against the Bush administration. Apparently a former FBI agent is saying that the administration had the FBI back off on their investigations into Al Qaeda, pre-9/11, because of some on going negotiations with the Taliban for a trans-Afgan oil pipe line. What's up? This could be big! Why is no one talking about it? The Times may be doing a piece on it soon. Someone needs to get to the bottom of this.
I heard an interesting euphemism over the radio on my way to work today. The person being interviewed was English and used the phrase "she is with Abraham" to refer to his dead aunt. I was facinated by this simple reference. It makes it almost sound as if she were in the next town visiting a friend or relation. When I got to work I opened my email to find a message from an old high school buddy that I'm corresponding with these days. I'm sure the post 9/11 strain has forced me to cast my net wider these days in hopes of gathering as many connections to this world and the people in it. I know this journal is a manifestation of this feeling. Its about more than picking up where I left off with the old news letter. The news in the email tied these two themes together quite nicely, like a ball-peen hammer between the eyes. In his message he announced that he heard one of our former classmates died.

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Wow if this is true then I'm going to be really pissed off. I can't, no, I don't want to believe that a government could be so callouse. Ah but then again Ronny Ray-gun did it with Iran-Contra didn't he? Must be a republican thing.

Monday, January 07, 2002

OK so if we don't get plastered by some asteroid then at least we get another 200 Million years. Now I feel much better.
Ok we are having another asteroid near-miss soon. Is anyone else convinced we need to get off this planet?!?
Ah alas, no snow.... The kids and I were disappointed. Well there is always next time. I had been so warm all winter we haven't had any snowfall at all around here. I miss it. I got a picture from my cousin Giuseppe of his daughter. He lives in Italy. The baby is beautiful. My grandmother is in one of the pictures. She is holding the baby. My grandmother is a jet setter. She flys back and forth between the States and Italy almost once every six months. However since 9/11 she's been in Italy and I think she's afraid to come back. I look at her in the picture an I think she looks a bit sad. I think she wants to come back here and see her sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I think by flying back and forth so much she's rooted herself in two places. I'm not sure she can be happy staying in just one place anymore. There's always someone, something, or some place that's misssing. It must be very strange. It's unsettling to think about. I've got such a stable life. Everyone is here. Althought I miss my grandmother, and my Italian relatives, my main focus is here. When I go away I have somewhere to return to that I call home. I really don't know where Nonna feels at home. That's even more unsettling. The fact that I don't know... No Starbucks has touched my lips. It's pretty easy. I think I'm going to give up bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll breakfast sandwitches as well. Now that's something real hard to give up.

Friday, January 04, 2002

It's cold outside. Maybe we'll get some snow this weekend. I really don't like when its just cold outside an there is no snow on the ground or in the air. I guess its just my own youthful fantasy for a "snow day". Snow days were/are the best. The outside world with all of its daily pressures and anoyances just stops and its time for baking cookies with mom or playing in the newly fallen snow, or napping under a warm blanket. You have no choice becase the roads are all blocked, your car is buried beneath a foot of snow and getting deeper, and even mass transit isn't moving. Remember that? I do. It's rare that we adults get a snow day. Weekends and vacations don't count. They always get used up to do the things around the house that never get done because your too busy working. No the snow day is something special, a frosty time out. Nature says, "Chill....".

Thursday, January 03, 2002

I never thought it would come to this. I actually hate what I'm doing. Not the kind of work. Hey, I'm a geek at heart. It's just what I'm doing that's a drag. Yes I'm building YATS (Yet Another Trading System). Jeeze this is like three or four of this bloody things now. I gotta find something different. I need to start writting my own software and surviving off that for a change. What a bummer....
2001 was a rough year for the Internet. Silcon Alley Reporter's latest daily had some pretty gruesome numbers for my stock and trade. They quote some research that says about 100,000 jobs were lost in the Internet sector. The NYC area was hit hard due to the double whammy of September 11. While they don't know how many of those 100,000 out of work dot-com-ers are from this area some estimate that at least 10,000 IT professionals could be out of work in the NYC area. They also say that 2 out of 3 business closings were internet startups.

OK, I've had enough of this.

The Internet is still a viable business platform and communications medium. It has to be. Think about it. How many gifts did you buy online this holiday season? Did you buy any movie tickets online? Ever get directions from Mapquest? Do you have an email account? 2 out of 4 of those activities involved money changing hands. So OK nobody was going to make money giving stuff away or worse selling things at a loss but you have to admit it damn convenient buying books and god knows what else from Amazon. Hopefully all the pretenders are all cleaned out now and maybe, hopefully, the rest of us can get back to work instead of looking up to see the sky falling. I did that too many times this year and I'm not doing it any more.

Then what's a web-head to do these days? I'm not sure but I guess the thing to do is to keep at it. Keep hatching those crazy ideas that might just blindside the industry. I think its time for us to turn off Sponge Bob pick up our laptops and start writing some code, business plan, or some content. The web is making it easy for anyone to homestead a virtual piece of land. Maybe there'll be gold down in the creek. You never know.

Day two has ended. I'm Starbuck's free and I've saved about 8 bucks so far. I think I'll donate the money to charity. Although I could really use a new computer at home....

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

Happy New Year and welcome to the new weblog version of Giolist! Yes, the old version is still around if anyone cares but I think this new weblog format is what I was hoping for in my life. Frankly, I wasn't doing that well anyway.

To start off this new life I'm exposing my New Year's resolution which should make it practically impossible to keep. Are you ready? This year I vow to give up Starbuck's coffee. This isn't out of any kind of anti-globalism sentiment. Nor do I want to keep the local coffee places in business. It's just that I've calculated that I probably spent about $1000.00 USD on coffee in 2001 and it's making me sick! Add to that the cost of all the overpriced scones I've scoffed and your talking real money here.

So if you stick around you'll see what happens. Will he make it? More importantly what will I do with the money I save? And you may find out a few things about me, my life, and the human condition. Not that I'm some kind of genius or anything but who knows I have been known to suprise people sometimes.