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I Really Must Insist...

Joe Jenett's dailywebthing

Saturday, April 14, 2001

     New content today on Internet Brothers:

     The very creative Alexis Parker returns from the rigors of academic community to the ineptitude of IB Community with an essay titled Coming Back. Check for it in the Storytelling section. And to Alex, a big Welcome Back.

     An addition to the Digital Photo Tips section by the western half of Internet Brothers titled Step One looks at some obvious and immediate differences between traditional film and digital technologies. Make sure you understand before investing your hard-earned dough. Speaking of Dave, he's off to the Utah desert this weekend. Should have some great pics when he returns.


     A new project is underway at jenett webthings called Ageless. Says Joe, "I realize now that what I really wanted to do is show that the personal, creative side of the web is diverse and ageless and the way to do that is to get as many of you personal website builders to freely share your date of birth with me so that there's ample data to show I'm right." The best thing? Now I know when Faith's and Kitty's birthdays are (both soon). Nyah-nyah. Better get yours in too.

     Oh Jann. Thought you might want to know your ISP is bouncing email sent your way. Looks like it's in the routing between Mindspring and Primenet. Of course, if it's intentional, as you were. I can take a hint ... I think, maybe, perhaps ... Woe is me.

     Lynn and I were supposed to be in Mentor, Ohio visiting our daughter for the holiday weekend. A conspiracy has definitely been put in place to prevent that from happening. I've been promising this visit to Anna for months. If Anna's husband is reading this, get off the friggin' Internet so I can call Anna and apologize. No more MP3 and porn for you bud.

Add Some Confusion

Friday, April 13, 2001

     "I need to find a different door of perception somewhere, a place where people talk about not just now, but then and never and the future passed and always, often." — from Ann Stretton's thought-provoking essay on web culture.

     The Council of Europe's Cybercrime Convention will meet "to define cybercrime offenses and address such topics as jurisdiction, international cooperation, and search and seizure." But is a new cure for cybercrime worse than the disease? Big Brother wants to watch.

     Zeldman and Powazek have web design books coming out very shortly, but they aren't the only ones. Looking for some Web-directed inspiration? NewMedia highlights many recent book titles that showcase the meeting of new technology and Web artistry.

     Disgusting search of the day: "naked boys young armpit." It ain't here, trust me. Move along.

Thursday, April 12, 2001

     Going Home. Perhaps the most important day of my life.

     Amy Kim, an undergraduate at Cal Berkeley, is doing sociolologic research about the Internet and its influence on people's every day lives. As a part of this project, she is conducting a survey aimed toward people who own at least one personal homepage/website. She decided to ask bloggers to participate in this survey because they are fairly active in updating their webpages and are relatively familiar with the Internet. Why not go put in your 2¢ to give Amy a hand and help with research. It only takes about 15 minutes and is completely anonymous.

     Sorry Kitty. It all makes me want to zone out too. Maybe you're on to something though. I'm spending so much time trying to research what's wrong with me that I'm frying my brain with esoteric scientific hypotheses. I kinda like my three year old grandson's plan — play all day then take a nap.

     Thoughts and prayers for Tiny Ray Grier would be appreciated. He is home from the hospital recovering from a bout with pneumonia, not a good thing with his severe asthma.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

     The therapist wants me to use a "grow light." It seems the pineal gland originally had a role as a light-sensitive organ. This smallish gland receives signals from regions of the brain directly affected by the signals traveling down the optic nerves, which control the the night/day cycle of hormonal activity and the sleep/wake cycle, the body's so-called circadian rhythms.

     It is known to secrete a hormone called melatonin. The amount of melatonin released by the pineal gland can be measured in the blood. Under normal conditions, melatonin levels are low in the daytime, and rise gradually at night, peaking at two or three in the morning, and gradually decrease until it is time to wake up. Through our daily cycle of alertness and tiredness, the biological clock affects our moods and our performance. Superimposed on the daily cycle, there are other biological cycles of various periods, in humans and animals, such as oestrus and winter hibernation.

     Some people, perhaps as many as one in ten of the population suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, a form of depression characterised chiefly by its seasonality, by depressed moods, decreased energy, a tendency to sleep too much and to feel excessively tired. The therapist thinks this may be going on with me. What is remarkable about this form of depression is that exposure to bright lights alleviates the symptoms. Depending on the light intensity, as little as half an hour each day causes the worst of the symptoms to pass. The mood lifts, and energy returns. Again, it is light through the eyes which matters.

     For some, bright lights mainly work by strengthening the setting of the circadian cycle. For others, the lights affect a mechanism in the brain known as the serotonin pathway, because drugs which are known to increase the amount of the hormone serotonin in the brain appear also to alleviate SAD symptoms. So we're going to try light instead of more serotonin.


     Alwin makes a compelling argument about treatment and coverage issues related to health economics. Just a couple years ago I approached my primary care provider about a heart stress test, even though I had nothing wrong. Both my grandfather and father had their first heart attacks in their early fifties. I am high risk. As I approach that age, I argued my first attack might be prevented by early maintenance. If I had arterial blockage, wasn't it better to know now rather than after permanent damage?

     My physician tended to agree, but said he was stymied by the insurance companies. We concocted a plan to tell a few little white lies (Do you have chest pain? Why yes, I do.), and eventually the stress test was approved. The results were good, my arteries were clear and flowing nicely. The doctor and I have planned one of these tests every five years whether indicated or not. Call it fighting back.

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

     I wondered last week about serotonin and alcoholism. While not responding directly to that query, Framboise sent some information about hormone therapy after hysterectomy. Since SSRI anti-depressants are used extensively among women who cannot take hormones, she has done some research there as well. Framboise has compiled an extremely comprehensive web site about Surviving Surgical Menopause.

     "A jump in circulating blood alcohol causes a several hour corresponding jump in circulating estrogens. Yes, even in men (it's responsible for the feminizing effects you see in old alkies). SSRIs are used in surgical menopause because they occupy estrogen receptors in the brain, thus tending to help with some of the same depression, memory and mood things that estrogen itself does."

     "There was evil karma in that darn thang." Lynn too Kitty (smirk).


     I like to mention people who have been kind to me. One recently was jennyb. She probably doesn't even have any idea what it was. Jennifer has some very interesting stories to tell and a clever grasp of the telling. Go see.

     Had my hat handed to me on a plate over at MetaFilter for my overenthusiastic comments about Tiger Woods. Even got threatened bodily harm with a nine iron. Most of it in good fun, I suppose, but geez some people take themselves way too seriously. I guess we have to solve all the world's weighty problems first. Me? I'm just going to continue having fun. Oh, and heartiest congratulations to MeFi creator Matt Haughey for making the cover of Brill's Content. This publicity may REALLY put the noise ratio over the edge.

      Personal Plea. Would all you people over there in the linky-list on the left please refrain from writing such wonderful prose and poetry just for a few days? You're making it exceedingly difficult for this rank amateur to keep up with the emotional and thought-provoking quality. I love reading your words, but you're all making me feel woefully inadequate. That is all.

Monday, April 9, 2001

     A determined march to history. There are perhaps only a handful of moments in anyone's lifetime that truly create an historical perspective. In mine, man setting foot on the moon, maybe even the invention of the microchip qualify. Some may say it unpalpable to consider a triumph of sport in the same category, but I believe it happened yesterday amid the tradition-filled Augusta, Georgia pines. A very young man accomplished something all the greats of golf never achieved. The feat has only been equaled once in the game of tennis. A few Olympians have propelled performance beyond what was considered humanly possible. In the games of individual success no man or woman has ever been the holder of all golf's major titles concurrently. It's called the Grand Slam. Young Tiger Woods marched into eternal lore yesterday — April 8, 2001 — it is etched in my memory forever.

     Probably everyone on this planet is the best in the world at something. A key to success is discovering your something and using it to your advantage. I'm still looking, but haven't given up.

     Feeling a tad underappreciated? Rub your chihuahua's belly then look at that tiny face...

     The unexpected weekend visit from my parents was delightful. No great words of wisdom about health matters, they are after all not doctors. They did, however, provide support and relief from one of the symptoms of depression I have been feeling — missisng my family. Just being with them for a few days picked up my spirit considerably. Now to use it as a steppingstone.

Sunday, April 8, 2001

      Now [04.07.01 entry] y'all know why I said trust me. God bless you Jann.

     Alwin says Pushing A Camel Through A Bar Straw is nothing profound. Perhaps, but it surely tackles one of the largest drawbacks of online community. Simply put, it isn't face to face. Nearly every time I sit down to write lucid words that come out confused, I'm conjuring someone in particular in my mind. Many are the times I've wished it was much more than a mental picture. I want to put my arms around a suffering friend (see above). I want the dear one who said just the right thing when I needed it to see my smile and share the aura. I wish to hike through the woods with the nature lovers and compose lasting images with the photographic artists or talk content management with the geeks. I want to meet all of you, every last one.

Bluzz of the Week      Sunday means Bluzz of the Week. Through this feature, I'm searching for the brightest, funniest, most controversial or otherwise intriguing comments from the previous week's forums, journals and blogs. Spring has sprung in the northern hemisphere and love is in the air. Or maybe it's just the pollen, ragweed and spores. Whatever, it sure beats ice and frost. If you find a true treasure you'd like to nominate for future Bluzz of the Week, even if you wrote it yourself, please let me know.

     Meg Pickard says she's not.so.soft. I don't know about that, but I've discovered from reading her weblog for a couple months that she is nice, kooky, witty, can blow air through her tear ducts — she's a friend in need and a friend indeed. Meg is a very well-educated world traveler presently parking her duds in northwest London. She is Executive Producer for a large Internet company and just happens to be a prolific writer. Some of that writing caught my eye the other day and is this week's Bluzz. Meg was standing at a bus stop waiting to go home when she overheard a conversation between two young men. Here are a few excerpts from Prelude to a kiss?

     "Just kiss her," he said, gesticulating passionately, "if you want to kiss her, you should do it."

     "We were standing at the bus stop, waiting for the number thirteen to drag us up the hill and homewards. Well, they were standing at the bus stop. I was opposite them, outside a newsagents, standing, eavesdropping with a bag of vegetables in one hand and a bunch of bright pink and orange gerberas in the other - my present to myself for surviving Wednesday. They were only a metre away, deep in earnest conversation, and I was transfixed."

     "It's like bungee jumping, you know? You just have to put your feet together, clench your fists and do it. You can't worry about what will happen. You should just go for it," he enthused.

     "He was tall and lanky, with small round glasses and a close cap of thick curls. His hands moved quickly when he talked, and he shuffled from one foot to the other, as if dancing. His thick Israeli accent sounded loud in the Swiss Cottage air - pungent and appealing and strange, like Balti spices in the Pennines. He rolled his Rs and made "go for it" sound like gohferrrreeth. I wrapped my mouth silently around his pronounciation of the word. It felt funny..."

     "His friend laughed. He was shorter, shrugged inside a baggy outdoorsy jacket, propped up on one bent leg against the bus shelter. "I can't," he began. He was Canadian - you could tell by the accent, and then, with the benefit of hindsight, it all clicked into place - the short cropped hair. The jacket. The good teeth and the knapsack. "I want to, I think she wants me to, but I just don't think it's time..."

     "I realised I'd missed so many opportunities, because I waited too long. I wanted to kiss her forever, and as soon as I realised I'd waited a week to kiss her, I realised it would always be forever" forever with a double f: foreffah, "minus a week. I lost a week of forever because I waited. Don't lose a week, man."

     "The bus came quickly and I lost them in the crowd. But I thought about them the whole way home." — Meg Pickard







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