Hmmm, perhaps Changing Rooms would be a better description. See, as the female was attempting to determine the ultimate layout of the kids room, we hit upon the discovery that the only viable solution was to switch rooms with the kids.

Since the desk moved out of our bedroom and into the basement, our room has been very empty. A bed, dresser, TV, and not much else... And since the kids have toys, and more toys, and even more toys, and need a place to play, we switched. They got the big room. I'll take my Parent of the Year award now...

Of course this changing of rooms comes at a price. I spent half the day yesterday painting, and the rest of the day moving furniture. My arm went numb...

Looks like I'll need to read the Powerbook G3 Wallstreet take-apart instructions. As far as I can tell the power connector broke loose in my Wallstreet...

I fear having to use the soldering iron, as it's been years since I've done any serious soldering...

Well, we did not win the van as was greatly anticipated yesterday, despite all of the Positive Energy! that was sent our way.

I walked into the dealership and immediately saw we did not win. I still checked, and re-checked the numbers. Three times. Maybe four. They didn't magically change at anytime. Damn...

We did get free movie passes, well, they'll be mailed to us anyway. When I got home the whole family was depressed. We really believed we could win.

On the way back to the car I noticed something. There was a new van in the parking lot with the key just sitting there in the driver side door. Obviously this was a sign, keys don't just show up in a new van for no reason. So, I got in and drove it home. Ok, I didn't really get in and drive it home. I thought about it for a half second. Ok, a full second, but I mean, I didn't like the color, and besides, I wasn't 100% sure that this was an OK thing to do, I believe some dealerships frown upon your driving away with their vehicles without working out some sort of a payment plan first...

Tomorrow the kids and I will go to the Family Fun Fair, and attempt to win prizes there. That's it!

Spurred on by nf0's mention of a search plugin for nf0's Life, I finally got around to uploading the Mycroft plugins I made long ago. See the Mycroft Plugins page for details... [IE users need not apply, it's a Mozilla-thang...]

(And keep that Positive Energy! flowing!)

It's not often we ask for help here.

But this time we need help.

As you know, we've had some recent van problems, and as it's well known, we don't exactly have the funds to replace our current van with anything else besides a bicycle, and fitting two adults and two children on one bicycle proves rather difficult.

So, am I asking for donations? No such thing! What I am asking for is this... Positive Energy!

See, yesterday in the mail I received a card from the local car dealership, I think they got my address from the time I brought the car in to be fixed and they charged me a lot of money, anyway, they are giving away a van. It's a van valued at $30,000 USD, which is about $25,000 USD more than what we paid for our current van. Obviously this is a sign, these cards don't just show up in your mailbox for no reason.

So here's the plan, I would like to win this van, and give it to the female. This would make her very happy. All you have to do is send the Positive Energy! my way today. Especially this evening when I go to the dealership and see if I've got the winning numbers.

I'm asking all readers of this site to do this. (Both of you.)

Again, it's not often that we ask much from you, but this is the big one...

(P.S. If you're into that praying thing, feel free to do that as well.)

Remember: Positive Energy!

Thought you'd never see the word 'Weblog' preceeding the words 'Business Strategies'? Guess again...

ClickZ Weblog Business Strategies 2003 Conference & Expo is the first business-oriented forum to address the recent emergence of Weblogs into the business world and their rising importance as a medium of communication. This conference will bring together Webloggers who are pioneers, experts, and technologists. Together, they will present the latest developments, strategies, and success stories behind what is now becoming known as the Business Blog, or B-Blog for short.

It's all about bringing the people together man...

We all remember when the back window of the van shattered, and I had to buy a new door, and replace the old door, right? (This was after fixing the gas tank of course...) So anyway, to refresh your memory, the back window shattered when I closed the side door. I'm still not sure how these two parts of the van are directly connected, but what do I know about cars... So anyway, today the female calls to tell me something funny, and I always like to hear a good joke, so she tells me that the side door of the van fell off. I didn't laugh.

Now, you might think our van is some sort of beat up old wreck full of dents and dings that's held together with duct tape, and the Sanford and Son theme song plays everytime we drive by, but it really is in good condition physically. I mean it looks nice, well, except for the non-matching back door... and the fact that things keep falling off of it...

double-plus arrgghhhh......

One more reason Apache is better than IIS. One word: Trust. You can trust Apache. Would you really trust an IIS helicopter?

Talk about a Blue Screen of Death...

Since the Clipper plug-in for jEdit has some problems with large files, I've converted my clipperlib files into Xinsert files, and they're over in code/src/jedit/xinsert...

My photo for the Photo Friday challege was one of the few that wasn't all blue colored... What's up with that?

(In case you're wondering, it's a Down By Law CD.)

I thought I'd see some interpretations of people being depressed or perhaps naughty, but no such luck yet... (The word blue has many meanings...)

Well, somebody is a little insane now, aren't they...

Details to follow... or not...

Though I can find nothing about them at lays.com or fritolay.com, I recently found Lay's potato chips that are touted as natural, and upon checking the ingredients it seems there are only three: potatoes, expeller-pressed sunflower oil, and sea salt. Now, the true health concious amoung us will not be surprised by this, most 'real' natural or organic foods have few ingredients. Sea salt is better than that crappy plain old salt many people and products use, and expeller-pressed is the way to go if you've got to use oil. but what about the potatoes? They aren't certified organic potatoes, but you know what, it's a start...

Finding an almost all-natural product from a major brand name is a good thing. It wasn't the case 10 years ago, it probably wasn't even the case 5 years ago. It's a nice surprise, and one I hope more large food companies provide.

I should also mention Full Circle (owned by Topco) which is like the generic-equivalent of natural and organic foods, available in your supermarket today (if you're lucky...)

I don't have a whole lot to say about The War®, but I will say this...

If this planet doesn't get it together and join forces, it doesn't matter what color your skin is, or what country you live in, or what your beliefs are, we'll all be slaving away in the salt mines for our alien overlords.

People, we must prepare! Will you stand by my side and fight against the aliens? It's only a matter of time. The impending invasion grows nearer everyday. It's happened before, and it'll happen again, only this time all the citizens of planet Earth will be the victims...

Either that or those damn dirty apes will take over while we're busy fighting each other. Generally speaking, ape does not kill ape.

This has been a public service annoucement brought to you by Citizens Against Slavery to Alien Overlords... and/or Apes.

Do you like MetaFilter? Want your own MetaFilter? Try MetaPhilter, or perhaps FreeFilter...

MetaPhilter is a PHP app, while FreeFilter is written in perl.

Let the community begin!

I was trying to figure out why I was so tired and having a hard time staying awake. Could it be staring at SQL code within perl code all day? I noticed that Meteorologist said it was 72 degrees, definitely time to stop staring at the monitor and go outside. A quick jaunt outdoors and one time around the block should wake things up. It's weird to see big piles of snow outside after Meteorologist tells you it's in the 70's, but we just ignored the snow, sure it would disappear soon enough. As we got back inside, we noticed that it was warm, really warm. We hadn't noticed this before. We then noticed that the wall thermometer indicated it was roughly 78 degrees in the office. Very uncool. In fact, the opposite of cool, it was warm! So here we sit, sweating... staring at code again... and trying to stay awake...

sigh...

Well, I've settled on Mantis for our bug tracking needs. It's a PHP/MySQL app, and does a pretty good job of things so far. In the past I've used Bugzilla but unless you've got your own server to run it on, and a day to spend tweaking your environment and install perl modules, Bugzilla isn't really an option. Mantis was up and running in about 15 minutes...

So now it's time to track some issues, squash some bugs, ignore feature requests, and generally attempt to get organized. Yeah...

Over in the code/src/jedit section I've updated a few things. There's now a clipperlib file for perl functions, and I've uploaded a new version of my xinsert file for perl, and new versions of the templates for various DOCTYPE's.

Dig around... Enjoy, and what not... you jEdit users...

I normally don't pay attention to things like weblog awards, but Mark mentioned his winning of a Bloggie so I thought I'd take a look.

Well it appears at though there's a category for 'lifetime achievement' which says it's for Webloggers who have been blogging at least since July 1, 2000. I would have thought 1999, or perhaps 1998, would be more appropriate years. Some year before Blogger came along perhaps... How about 1997?

Since this award can only be won once, I figure it's only a matter of time before they award it to me. Unless they change that 2000 date to some more recent date. I mean, if you look at the page of only weblogs under 'ye olde skool' and pick one each year, then eventually they might get to old RasterWeb! right? All I've got to do is outlive the competition, and in 10 or 20 years I'll be getting the coveted 'lifetime achievement' award! Mwuhahaha!

Or maybe not, I mean, it's all just a popularity contest, right? And popularity is one contest I'll never win. If I ever do, it's obvious I'm doing something wrong...

Besides, I can't attend that SXSW thing, because it's always at the same time that we have the MXMW thingamabob each year... aw foo...

Recently some people expressed concern about Google. Should I use Google? Why does Google store a 35 year cookie? Is Google turning evil/becoming a competitor/employing ex-NSA people? None of that matters as much to me as this: I've become reliant on Google. I think that I need Google.

Anytime you come to depend on some resource not in your control, you need to put a certain amount of trust into that resource. Trust that it won't go away, trust that it will always do what you want it do. Trust that it won't turn icky. All sort of different trusts emerge.

So do I trust Google? Right now, sure, but that doesn't mean things can't change. Do I trust Apple? Pretty much, though I do admit to having some mistrust in some of the things Apple does. Do people trust Pyra/Blogger? Many people lost the trust in Blogger's reliability and jumped ship to Movable Type. In doing this I'd argue that they just exchanged one trust for another, and since it's still a resource you don't have complete control over (read the license) it could also go away at some point. (Though you get to keep your data...)

But I'm getting off the subject...

Google is still a great search engine. It almost always seems to find what I need, quickly and easily. That doesn't mean I won't continue to look for alternatives, and see what other search engines out there might be doing a good job. I'd hate to have to someday look for an alternative to Google and realize that when I wasn't looking all the alternatives ceased to exist.

So if someone thinks that blindly trusting that Google (or anything) will always be there for you, and do exactly what you want it to do, well, good luck with that. I, on the other hand, will continue to search out alternatives, other ways of doing things, other tools to get the job done. There's more than one way do it, you know...

If this web site had a special categorization for automotive problems, it would have quite a bit of activity in it. As frequent readers know, our luck with cars is not good. We've blown out (or blown up) tires, transmissions, batteries, pump, and various parts that probably do nothing but the car won't function without them... But this time... arghhhh...

See, yesterday I get ready to leave for work. I unlock and open the side van door. I then close the side van door. (I do this so the kids can get in quickly for school.) So after the side door closes, I heard this sound like a big sheet of ice falling off the back window. One problem. There was no ice on the back window. The process of closing the side door of the van caused the back window to shatter. At this point I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get to work on time.

I then told the female I'd make some sort of cardboard/plastic window, and I'd take the van, and she could have the car. I then found out that duct tape won't stick to anything when it's below zero outside. I give up, decide to work from home, and attempt to come up with a plan.

A plan you say? What plan? You call an auto glass specialist, and they fix it. Sure, if you're one of the elite ruling class with many dollars in the bank. That would not be us. After receiving a clue about how much getting the glass replaced might cost, we get an alternate plan. This is, in a nutshell, the alternate plan: Go to junkyard. Buy van door from smashed up van. Switch doors. How did the plan work? Well, we didn't match the color, so we'll have to paint it once it gets warm enough, which should be June or July around these parts, but we did get a door. We haven't put it on yet either. I will require assistance in doing this, and there will most likely be cuts and bruises involved, and since we're dealing with wiring there's always a chance of getting a nice electrical shock along the way as well...

So that's what happened yesterday, and why I still hate cars.

Oh, and I was so sick all weekend I could barely move. Not that it has anything to do with the van hating us, or me hating the van, but I thought it should be mentioned...

Thanks to aaronland we've learned about a site at www.localharvest.org, which is extremely helpful, and very useful.

Thanks again Aaron...

My slow blower can't compare to the likes of the one at the phpMP offices. See, the snow blower I've got is what we refer to as, well 'dinky' best describes it.

It's electric, not gas powered. So there's a big long extension cord (or two) involved. I bought it at a rummage sale in the summer for dirt cheap. I plugged it in and it worked. Yay. I bought it. I got it home, plugged it in and it worked. Yay again. Then came winter. Then came snow. I plugged it in and it didn't work. Boo. Hiss. I brought it into the house to see what was up. I took it apart. Looked at it. Kicked it. Etc. After while it worked. See, I learned that the electric snow blower I bought for cheap really doesn't like cold weather. So if it snows, I need to take it in from the garage and put it in the house to warm up before I can use it. That's seriously messed up.

I'd like to thank my neighbor Erv for removing the snow from our sidewalk earlier this week, because if I had tried doing it with my electric snow blower that doesn't like cold weather, I'd probably still be doing it.

I know, as a homeowner with a long driveway and a sidewalk, I should have a large snow blower like every one of my neighbors does. But I just can't justify purchasing something that is used so damn little each year. Not when there's important things to purchase like organic produce.

Dave had this to say after throwing out some needed disks:

I could go dig through the dumpster. But that would be humiliating.

Obviously Dave isn't part of the dumpster diving set. I of course have gotten working computers, stereos, TV's, and even money out of the trash. People in the US are quite wasteful. This year I plan to take the kids to the university when school lets out in May. Many students find it easier to just toss most of their belongings rather than lug them back home for the summer...

And if anyone can tell me when 'Big Trash Day' in Waukesha is, I'd greatly appreciate it...

I was considering trying an experiment. Switching search engines for a day. I mean, we used to have Microsoft-Free Fridays, right? What about a Google-Free Friday? Will you still find what you're looking for? Let's find out!

Is AlltheWeb the successor to Google? I dunno, but there's some interesting stuff in FAST News...

Oh, if you don't want to use AlltheWeb, there's always Teoma, or Yahoo! or... Hmmm, I suppose you could search Google for other search engines - wait, don't do that...

I never got into the Friday Five myself, but I think Photo Friday is a neat idea. This week's challenge is: Stop Sign. I've got my photo right here.

Here's a list of Open Source Projects in Mac OS X.

I wonder if/when they'll add MySQL?

Now that the home office is in the basement, I'm discovering a few things. The sound of the space heater isn't too annoying, but what is annoying is the sound of the furnace, especially when the heat from the furnace is essentially ignoring the basement and traveling to the rest of the house. The basement gets the bad side of the furnace (the noise) and very little of the good side of the furnace (the heat) so all I can say is Argh...

It is nice to have a controllable lighting situation, and cable television in the office. In the summer it should be cool enough down there (let's hope so since the whole furnace/air conditioning/ventilation thing could present more issues.) I'm mainly worried about the fall when the bees come to visit. I'll try not to think of it for the next 6 months...

Oh, the desk now has three computers and three monitors on it. When they're all turned on and running SETI@Home it looks like a remote office for NASA...

From The Register: nobody ever got fired for setting up a Linux web server

Slava, the main developer of jEdit, is now 19 years old. jEdit 1.0.1 was released in 1998. Slava was 14 years old when he started working on jEdit. Did I mention jEdit is an extremely impressive text editor? Well, it is.

And the next time someone says "What's with the kids of today?" tell 'em to shut their pie-hole...

Happy Birthday Slava!
Happy Birthday Slava!

(btw, I didn't make this cake, it was sent to the jedit-users list...)

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