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Saturday, February 17, 2001

Fight AIDS at Home      Perhaps you've heard about SETI's (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project to harness millions of unused megahertz on PCs around the globe to assist its search for an extraterrestrial organism with a ham radio. If SETI didn't excite you, maybe Entropia will light you up. Like SETI, Entropia offers software to convert your unused computing power into potential solutions to worldwide problems. You can help medical researchers, protect the environment, or explore the limits of human knowledge, and all you have to do is download the free software. The Entropia community has generated more than 700 million research hours, so here's your opportunity to use existing resources to help save the world.

Urge User UpgradesThe current issue of AListApart explains why it's important. The Web Standards Project challenges users and developers to come together. Urge User Upgrades, a long-time project from Glassdog, started the triad with a sensible approach.

Friday, February 16, 2001

     Note from a friend: "It is a rejuvinating experience when one day you realize that the future is NOT going to be the predictable path. Suddenly in one day, the wall goes up and says...sorry not this way....and the sign points in a new direction. It may be a very stressful experience. The more in control of your options you are, the less stressful it will be. I believe there is a reason. All new experiences will be life gifts you never would have...had your course been unaltered." Thanks Jill.

     Happy Birthday to Mike Brown. Gettin' up there in those crooked numbers.

     My cable modem access was unavailable all day yesterday, not a good way to make a positive impression on a new customer. In the first week I've had the service, this is the second outage. The first only lasted about 30 minutes, but this all day affair won't build a relationship of trust. I really don't want to pay for two ISPs, so the next month will be a crucial test of availability, reliability and service — and DSL is on the horizon.

Thursday, February 15, 2001

     President Bush was in my hometown yesterday. Here on another leg of his tour of military bases, the president lauded the performance of West Virginia's Army and Air National Guard. Included among those was our son. A C-130 mechanic in the Air Reserves, C.A. had the opportunity to shake the president's hand — a once in a lifetime encounter. We are very proud of our son and his wife for their service to our country. It was exceedingly nice to have Mr. Bush agree.

     A quick update on my job situation. I made it through the first week unscathed. 24 people in the IT department were let go this week — 11 in Texas, four in Connecticut, and nine here in West Virginia. All of these, though, were folks ready to leave for one reason or another. Few were disappointed and the new company was accomodating. There won't be any more job news this week, but the personnel announcements pick up again in earnest first of next week. Deep breath. Exhale slowly. Repeat.

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

     Hoo-ey! Lucid Confusion has its own ISSN. 1533-8207. You too can apply for and use an International Standard Serial Number for your weblog. It will then officially exist in the worldwide standardized encyclopedia of periodicals. In the United States, it is registered with the Library of Congress. Visit the ISSN Application Form to get yours in the U.S., or visit the ISSN International Center to look up your country's web address.

     Version 4.04 of the hierarchical menus script is up in the IB Helpware section. Fixes some chopped display problems with Netscape4 as well as other minor bugs with DOM browsers.

      Vector Tobacco recently announced it has the rights to a proprietary process that enables the production of a tobacco cigarette that is virtually free of nicotine and virtually free of tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), a potent carcinogen found in tobacco. They have also developed a new proprietary technology which significantly reduces carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds, including benzo(a)pyrene, from cigarette smoke. The PAHs are reduced below the level that is known to initiate carcinomas.

She Keeps Me In Line      Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Here is my honey. Her name is Lynn and we've been married, off and on, since 1983. She's a pretty smart cookie. With all the problems I caused her in our early life together, she knew when we should be apart, and when we needed each other more than ever. Since our kids have grown and moved on, we've become even closer than before. I'm reminded of what Jack Nicholson said to Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets, "you make me want to be a better man."

Tuesday, February 13, 2001


      JimFormation has started a project called SouloftheWeb.com. It's mission is to promote quality, personal websites. A random list of five sites will be generated and displayed in a pop up window when you click on the SOUL button above. Helping with the project are Randy and Ray (co-founders with Jim) and Ronnie (who wrote the program that generates the list). If you have a personal site, please consider putting one of these SOUL buttons on it. You'll be helping the independent web. Go here for instructions to get the button.

     Another new project making the rounds is BlogFinder, a joint effort of Biz Stone and his friend Dan. A simple search, somewhat like Google, this one only scans weblogs. Add your own blog if you like. Search by URL, links, blogname or keywords — just what the community needs — another way to get around.

     The W3C explains some common mistakes in user agents due to incorrect or incomplete implementation of specifications, and suggests remedies. Specifics include, but are not limited to, implementation of user style sheets, respect for media descriptors when applying style sheets, and implementation of the HTML 4 recognized link types. Think the browser developers will get the hint?

     There are many ways to sleep.

Monday, February 12, 2001

     It appears Graham is taking his Weblog Clinic project quite seriously. With reportage, commentary and analysis that is both witty and insightful, he seems to have struck a nice balance between sarcasm and helpful q&a. The banter from Jocasta and Guido could work equally well in a radio studio. Somehow, I am imagining Graham rolling his chair side to side as he assumes each personality in this interesting and informative dialog.

      dot.com.kitty explains her penchant for collecting domains. 3inchbees caught my eye. The possibilities would intrigue Steven King, or PeeWee Herman.

     "For every human who discovers penicillin or models the solar system or cures small pox there are at least a thousand who believe professional wrestling is a sport or that Jerry Springer exposes real issues for our benefit or electrocute themselves by peeing on the third rail." — John McCabe ruminating on the Human Genome

Sunday, February 11, 2001

     The Shadowboxer team has redesigned. Wow! Mark, sorry if you did this awhile ago, I just noticed it today. These guys are really movin' and shakin' lately. With WebbieWorld, nPorta, MedCareers, and USIdea in their portfolio, it appears the sky is the limit.

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. I had to look in the face of my own demons last week. Community spirit was in full bloom for me, and for others faced with an uncertain future. 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.

     The struggle with uncertainty can definitely be a character builder. I haven't been reading Amber Kronberg's Following Eden for long, just discovered her a few weeks ago. You know how it is with so many weblogs out there. Apparently Amber has had a tough time of late, but that isn't what I want to discuss. Instead, I want to mention her resilience, her ability to accept what is presented and look for the silver lining. That requires character. When so many seem ready to give up and quit, Amber is meeting her challenges head on. Take for example, her recent entry, Life is Beautiful. See you soon. Here are a few excerpts:

     "I walked down the sand thinking about where I had envisioned myself being at 31. I thought about mistakes I'd made and wonders I'd seen. I thought about how I know myself better now than ever before. And about facing the challenges I know are up ahead. I realized that I will be okay. Not through any one illuminated fact, just because the sun was out and the sea was tumbling beside me. Life just keeps moving on, seasons keep changing. So do I."

     "This is not what I had planned, but I can adapt. More than the relief of that revelation was the shock at discovering that I had lost that. The knowledge that I would do more than survive, but that I would still experience life as joy and light and warmth. The sun always returns."

     "Today, looking out my window I see the bright green disk of nasturtium leaves. The clouds are floating by and the birds are singing. I know there is a storm on the way, but for now I am just going to go sit still in the slanting rays. I'm going to close my eyes and let the warmth sink into me like wet sand. I'm going to inhale the perfume of orange blossoms and jasmine. Life is beautiful. See you soon." — Amber Kronberg

 

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