June 30, 2004

Reverse Graffiti and this strange world of ours

So this guy comes up with a really inventive idea. Instead of spray-painting his tags onto a wall, he makes a stencil, places it over the existing graffiti painted on a wall, and applies solvent to remove the previous graffiti in the shape of his artwork.

The Yorkshire graffiti artist known universally as Moose has what he believes is a cast-iron defence against accusations of urban vandalism.

He has devised a brand of street art which not only livens up city streets, but removes grime in the process. His method is to take any dirty inner-city wall or pavement, place a template over it and scrub the concrete clean, revealing an image as sharp as any spray paint which fades with time.

This apparently make a distinctive and easy-to-see shape on the wall.

Of course, THE MAN doesn't like this. So...

Much to the indignation of the artist's corporate clients, Leeds City Council demanded the "clean-up" of a piece of graffiti...

But, how can he clean it up, since he didn't put anything on the wall.

Life in the 21st Century.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:41 PM

I Love a Parade

The Pawlake Association website announces this holiday's boat parade.

The July 4th Boat Parade on Pawtuckaway

Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate!

Every year, the residents and their guests decorate their boats in various themes.
Most simply display patriotic colors of Red, White, and Blue bunting and flags.
In the last several years, even a marching band has played on a Pontoon boat!

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:45 PM

The Son

David Weinberger wrote, "I like Ron Reagan (the son) more than ever after reading this."

I agree.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:59 PM



JK Rowling has silenced the rumour-mongers by confirming the new book in her series will be called "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince".
Posted by jackhodgson at 03:52 PM

Pawlake State Park addition

I learned a little more about the proposed State Park addition. I posted about it over at the Pawtuckaway site.

...the mitigation land that may be added to Pawtuckaway Lake State Park is located near the Nottingham-Raymond line, and is bordered by Dudley Brook, and an unnamed stream which feeds Mountain Brook.
Posted by jackhodgson at 10:50 AM

Careful or you'll "cheney" it all up

Both my brothers have similar taste in music. A few weeks ago I wrote about a mission Scott and I went on to buy the first-day-of-release album CONTRABAND. Other brother David lusted for this CD too.

Since then this CD has become notorious. It is selling extremely well, and it turns out to be one of the most popular CDs ever which has copy protection on it. The net, including my comments areas, are aflame over this issue.

Here's the best description I've seen yet to the cause and workaround to this whole thing.

Sadly, the way RCA and SunnComm want you to listen to music is pretty complicated. You’d need to insert the CD on your PC, wait up to one minute for it to load, click an end user agreement, then only “listen” to the music. Oh, wait there’s more. It installs software which blocks making MP3s and it requires a web connection to exchange “data” and keys. On the disc there were music files in WMA format, but they don’t seem to play on any device we have which plays WMAs—the site says they play only on “approved” devices. Yikes!
Posted by jackhodgson at 09:46 AM

June 29, 2004

Just Say No

Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild:

The National Lawyers Guild does not believe that the police can conduct random searches. Random searches are never truly random. Police often target individuals stereotyped as being "suspicious" people of color, those who appear to be Middle Eastern, and youth. These searches needlessly interfere with the privacy of innocent passengers and are incompatible with a free democratic society. Random searches replace fear of terrorism with fear of the police. This policy is not only unconstitutional; it is wrong.

I've been thinking that if I were ever stopped for one of these searches I would comply, then when the officer was done, I would take out a notebook and make them explain why I was chosen. Was it really random? If so, what method was used for "randomly" choosing me. Etc.

[Via hasbrouck.org and bostonCommon]

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:02 PM

Curt's ankle

At the tail-end of the CNBC interview, Bill Griffeth asked Curt, "How's the ankle?"

His reply: "It's attached."

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:52 PM

Schilling on CNBC

Curt and his wife will be appearing on CNBC 'tween 1 and 2 ET today. This is cause he was named "good guy of the week", by someone, for his charity work.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:00 PM


CNBC just referred to the Redsox/Yankees series that begins tonight as "the biggest rivalry in baseball". That's cool from an unbiased national source.

I think we are going to do well. We'll take 2 out of 3. I'm optimistic that we turned a corner in the recent Phillies series. I also think that Yankee Stadium will energize the sox who, I'm certain, are a fundamentally stronger team that the Yanks.

One thing to keep in mind though.

We Redsox fans are a passionate lot. And we, on occasion, will panic for no good reason. Back in the spring we beat up on the Yankees pretty good. Our media was full of stories of what this would mean in New York. Fire Torre, bench Jeter, "heads will roll" we predicted.

But the pinstripers took it standing up.

It seems that they may have used that defeat as a motivation. I want the Yankees to lose every game, but you have to respect the way they came back from a weak early part of the season.

I'm reluctant to say it, but, we can learn from that.

No matter what the outcome of this series, don't panic. I hope we beat the Yankees. I think we can beat the Yankees. But we don't have to beat the Yankees.

We only need to win the Series, not the series.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:12 PM

It's Grrrrreat!*

In the WWDC keynote Apple gave out many details of the next generation Mac OS, version 10.4 aka "Tiger" (TigeR?).

There have been many summaries of the announcement and feature lists. Here's the one from TidBits.

*Note: A few weeks back I used this headline to report the initial announcement of Tiger. I thought it was kinda clever, but no one commented on it. So here it is again.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:53 AM

Red Sox fan blog

I've been reading Edward Cossette's "Bambino's Curse" Redsox weblog/column, more or less daily, for a long time (three seasons?).

It's always been a good read. A passionate daily epistle from a fan living outside the area who follows the sox via the internet, national tv, and the occasional roadtrip to Fenway.

Over time it's only gotten better. The writing is bright and witty. His mood is that of a real Redsox fan, up-down, joyous, occasionally near despair, but always hopeful.

Just our flubbing luck, right? Sweeping the Yankees in April turns out to be a good thing for the Yankees?

As Grandmaster Flash might say, "it makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under."

For the past two season's his daily "column" has been published on Fox Sports New England before being archived on his homesite, Bambinoscurse.com.

If you're a Redsox fan and you don't look in on Edward at least a couple times a week, then your missing out.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:02 AM

June 28, 2004

Just the facts ma'am

Brad Feld has posted a great starter outline for a business plan. It was originally compiled by Chris Wand.

I've archived the whole outline in the "Continued..." portion of this entry.

[Thanks Halley]

Brad Feld writes:

Several years ago, Chris Wand (one of the guys that works with me at Mobius Venture Capital) put together a list of questions that a pitch to a VC should address. The world would be a better place if all entreprenuers could automagically incorporate this outline into their pitches - at least to me.

Following are the questions to address.

- What is your big vision?
- What problem are you solving and for whom?
- Where do you want to be in the future?

- How big is the market opportunity you are pursuing and how fast is it growing?
- How established (or nascent) is the market?
- Do you have a credible claim on being one of the top two or three players in the market?

- What is your product/service?
- How does it solve your customer’s problem?
- What is unique about your product/service?

- Who are your existing customers?
- Who is your target customer?
- What defines an "ideal" customer prospect?
- Who actually writes you the check?
- Use specific customer examples where possible.

- What is your value proposition to the customer?
- What kind of ROI can your customer expect by using buying your product/service?
- What pain are you eliminating?
- Are you selling vitamins, aspirin or antibiotics? (I.e. a luxury, a nice-to-have, or a need-to-have)

- What does the sales process look like and how long is the sales cycle?
- How will you reach the target customer? What does it cost to "acquire" a customer?
- What is your sales, marketing and distribution strategy?
- What is the current sales pipeline?

- What is your cost to acquire a customer?
- How will this acquisition cost change over time and why?
- What is the lifetime value of a customer?

- Who is the management team?
- What is their experience?
- What pieces are missing and what is the plan for filling them?

- How do you make money?
- What is your revenue model?
- What is required to become profitable?

- What is your stage of development? Technology/product? Team? Financial metrics/revenue?
- What has been the progress to date (make reality and future clear)?
- What are your future milestones?

- What funds have already been raised?
- How much money are you raising and at what valuation?
- How will the money be spent?
- How long will it last and where will the company "be" on its milestones progress at that time?
- How much additional funding do you anticipate raising & when?

- Who is your existing & likely competition?
- Who is adjacent to you (in the market) that could enter your market (and compete) or could be a co-opted partner?
- What are their strengths/weaknesses?
- Why are you different?

- Who are your key distribution and technology partners (current & future)?
- How dependent are you on these partners?

- How does this fit w/ the investor’s portfolio and expertise?
- What synergies, competition exist with the investor’s existing portfolio?

- What assumptions are key to the success of the business?
- What "gotchas" could change the business overnight? New technologies, new market entrants, change in standards or regulations?
- What are your company’s weak links?

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:06 AM

June 27, 2004

Stonehouse Pond

I went Geocaching with Scott today. We went to a spot just to the north of us, but in an area that we'd never visited before. It's a park called Stonehouse Pond.

bigrock-sJust a mile or so off of US202 in Barrington, it turns out the SP is a popular rock climbing venue. When we arrived there was a group of four climbers working on the very dramatic-looking rock face on the far side of the pond. (Click any these images to enlarge.)

trail-sThe trail around the shore of the pond is a bit overgrown, but passable. At the far side of the pond we climbed the steep ground around the side of the rock face and reached the top.

scott-sThe view of the pond and the distant horizon is well worth the climb.

climber-sFrom the top we also had a dizzying view down onto the climbers rappelling back down the vertical rock face.

We found the cache almost exactly on the coords provided, but discovering this cool spot was worth the hike all by itself.

onrock-s  2shot-s

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:46 PM

June 26, 2004

Prairie Limerick

From the June 5 edition of Prairie Home Companion, which was broadcast live from Gilford New Hampshire:

Here's to the State made of granite.
God who created it, ran it.
Compared to which, Maine
is just mosquitos and rain,
and Vermont is a whole other planet.
Posted by jackhodgson at 02:25 PM

A Borg, the good kind

Gareth Branwyn writes about his recent hip replacement surgery:

The description of the implant reads like something from a William Gibson novel. I now sport a Duroloc(r) 100 acetabular titanium cup with sintered titanium beads for in-bone growth adhesion. I have a bleeding-edge Marathon(r) polyethylene liner with irradiated cross-linked polymers for tighter bonding and longer wear rates.

[Thanks boing boing]

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:28 PM

Farewell Dave

Dave Winer has posted this nice farewell to his chairing of the Thursday nite bloggers meetings:

When it came time to say goodbye, it was very emotional, in a nice way. I tried to remember all the people who had come through the weekly meetings, many of whom never met each other because their times didn't overlap.
Posted by jackhodgson at 11:19 AM

MacWorld parties & events

Here's the "party list" for the upcoming MacWorld.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:53 AM


"What if the Hokey Pokey really is What It's All About? "

-- via kEN

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:39 AM

Happy happy

Most people seem to think that my concept of Birthweek is pretty odd. But it's important to note that today brings us near the end of the birthweek of Gone East pal RickF.

Rick's the guy who convinced me to go the the recent Redsox game. Bless him. And Happy Birthweek.

There's a picture of him back on this posting.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:35 AM

June 25, 2004

Survivor All-Star Sighting

Boston Rob was interviewed in the stands during tonight's Redsox telecast from Fenway.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:54 PM

Pawtuckaway State Park to be enlarged, slightly

Seacoastonline.com is reporting that, as part of a plan to bring another large shopping center to Epping's Route 125x101 crossing, conservation land will be purchased and added to our Park.

...more than 130 acres of land near Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham that will be bought for conservation. That land will allow the state to expand the park.

According the Park's website, it is currently 5,500 acres in size, so the addition will increase it by about 2.3%. No word on the precise location of this new acreage.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:43 PM

Hard to believe

Been busy the past coupla days on a coupla projects. The most interesting is a proposal to do a major renovation on the Town website for one of the charming little communities here in Seacoast NH. I probably won't get the contract, but the process introduces me to a whole new potential marketplace for my skills.

-- Tonight is "not opening nite" for this summer's Prescott Park Art's Festival. Tonite is the pre-opening gala where much fun will be had by all, including seeing the final dress-rehearsal for this summer's mainstage show: "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Tomorrow is the official opening, and the whole summer's schedule can be seen at their website. And don't forget that in addition to the mainstage show there are all sorts of Wednesday nite, Sat afternoon, and other special day, special presentations. So look closely at that schedule.

-- Finally, to show you how truly glamorous my life is I've been spending a lot of time the last coupla days waiting around for a contractor to show up and give us an estimate on installing a new septic systems here at the lake house. So far, no joy.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:43 PM

June 24, 2004

Average Monthly

One last thing today from the water level history. Here is the monthly average water height from 1982 to now.

Jan  18.88
Feb  19.08
Mar  20.53
Apr  23.37
May  24.82
Jun  25.01
Jul  24.83
Aug  24.69
Sep  24.50
Oct  24.18
Nov  21.81
Dec  19.31

Dolloff level measurement gauge. Source NH DES Dam Division.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:27 PM

Fun with numbers

Long time readers of Gone East will know that for the past couple of springs and falls I've played around with recording the level of the lake as it fell and rose. I've calculated rates of change, and made charts of the height.

At our recent Lake Association annual meeting I discovered that the State has been recording these level ALL YEAR ROUND for MANY YEARS. Depending on the time of year, they record the level as often as 8 times a month.

Nancy McGrath, of the N.H. Department of Environmental Services Water Division, Dam Bureau, very graciously provided me with the data for the levels at Dolloff Dam going back to 1982.

Here's a quick chart of the water level continuously since 1982. Cool.


Click on the image to enlarge it.

With this data I was able to come up with a good answer to a question I've had ever since I started watching the lake level: What is the "normal" height of the lake?

The average lake height, during the months of June, July and August, for the past 12 years has been 24.8 on the Dolloff gauge. As of this morning the height is 25.1. From my own observations, and from talking to people, I had concluded that the "normal" level was 24.5. Interesting.

Over the coming weeks I'll be playing around with these numbers and posting geeky trivia about it. Nancy McGrath and I also spoke about coming up with a way for the Lake Association website to always get the latest readings, all year round, so we could have the data displayed on the site. Stay tuned.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:32 PM


The latest issue of AvWeb has the best report I've seen so far about the SpaceShipOne flight on Monday.

Although the flight was a success, it suffered at least one scary malfunction which will delay the next attempt.

And Rutan's teary-eyed reactions to the day's events are a sign of how emotional he was feeling about the whole thing.

Rutan, surprised to receive his own plaque of recognition [from the FAA, similar to the one that Mike Mellville received], said under his breath, "I wasn't expecting that" and later leaned in to kiss [FAA rep Patty Gray] Smith on the cheek. He then bowed into the press center microphones and stated clearly, "Now don't you ever say that Burt Rutan doesn't kiss up to the FAA."
Posted by jackhodgson at 09:06 AM

June 23, 2004

Stereo Text

This is pretty cool.

It's a text version of the stereo pictures where you unfocus and cross your eyes a bit and an image jumps into the foreground. Now somebody has done it with text. Same process. Sentences will emerge.

[Thanks Sheila of projo.com]

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:32 PM

SpaceShipOne Photos

ss1-040621-74-cr1Here's a bunch of pics from Monday.

[Thanks Boing Boing]

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:41 PM

Comdex RIP


Computer trade show Comdex, once the biggest event on the tech calendar, has been canceled this year, a victim of the growing interest in shows emphasizing consumer electronics and specialist IT gear.

Actually, they're claiming that this isn't a permanent thing, and that it will return next year.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:29 PM

Pa Dumm Dee Dum Dum

I love Marching Bands. Especially Drum & Bugle Corps.

Here's the website of "one of the best small-school drumlines in the country, and perhaps the best in the East." The alma mater (pater?) of Gone East pal Sherman: UMass.

Click the button "Media" for a page with a bunch of mp3s of their music.

[Thanks Boing Boing]

UPDATE: Oops, it appears that the clips from before 2003 are all Real Audio format. They've apparently only just come to their senses.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:16 PM

Late in the fourth

I haven't updated my "if the season were nine innings" scoreboard recently. Here it is as of this morning.

American League East
123 456 789
Red Sox 12910 9 403*
Yankees 81313 10 444

Updated: AM 23 Jun 2004 -- *games remaining in "inning"

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:31 AM

June 22, 2004

Neither clouds, nor calm...

In spite of the mellow weather, three boats participated in week two of the newly revived weekly sailboat races here at the lake.

Two boats approach the first mark.

race2It was a tight finish in Race Two.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:18 PM

Get Packing

The TV's on in the background, and, from late last night, it's on the Travel Channel, which I never watch.

For the past hour there's been a show called "Get Packing", where two contestants -- women in the two eps I just saw -- first each got a chance to snoop through a guy's apartment, then were each given $1,000 to go shopping for the guy for items he'd enjoy on a "dream date" trip to some exotic destination.

Then the guy looks at the items they got, and without ever meeting the women, he selects the one he want to take with him.

Sounds kinda lame.

But it really got me. I found myself carefully watching what was selected, and rooting for the contestant who I felt understood him better.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:06 PM

Alice Sebold

"One thing about failing repeatedly:

If you're still doing it after you've failed that much, you really mean it."

-- Alice Sebold

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:33 PM

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Over on Concrete Frog, MGA makes a time-warp posting about the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

BTW, speaking of Science Fiction, I'm actually posting this last Friday for my usual Friday posting through an interdimensional timewarp so that it only appears like I'm late.
Posted by jackhodgson at 10:59 AM

See, it's not just me...

UserFriendly comic strip:


See entire comic...

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:06 AM

June 21, 2004

Video Blogs

Gone East pal Steve Garfield is participating in a video-blogging week project. He's creating a new short video every day this week to post in the web. Check them out.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:34 PM


Thanks to MGA, in the GE comments area, here are a few bloggers who were at Mojave for this morning's history.

Rand Simberg :

If there were any hitches, they weren't apparent from the viewing stand. They hit the apogee of at least a hundred kilometers, and had a smooth entry and landing. I took some pictures, but until I can figure out how to get them onto a big screen, I won't know if they were any good, or worth posting.

Rand, in turn, point us to Dale Amon who was also there:

It has been a long wait. We have finally done it. The road to the stars opened today.

Private industry develops on an exponential and we have just gotten to the fun part of the curve.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:11 PM

Let's hear it for the old guy

mikeburtOne cool sidebar on the SpaceShipOne story is that Mike Melvill, the world's newest astronaut, is 62 years old.

In this pic we see Mike and Burt Rutan at the press conference the night before the historic flight.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:12 PM

CNN coverage

ss1.landing.cnnBTW I finally found CNN on the cable -- it was a TiVo problem, more on that later -- and their coverage was much better than Fox or MSNBC. CNN's Miles Obrien was much more knowledgeable, and he had Dick Rutan with him during the return and recovery.

Breaking news: CNN.com is now reporting that SS1 DID in fact reach space!

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:29 AM

Back Safely

SpaceShipOne has landed safely at Mojave Spaceport.

Initial reports are that the craft succeeded in its goal of reaching Space at 62 miles altitude. We're awaiting confirmation.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:18 AM


WhiteKnight/SpaceShipOne has taken off from the Mojave Spaceport in California. It will take about an hour for it to reach the release altitude where SS1 will separate from WK and rocket into space. This is now expected to happen at around 10:40 ET.

My best wishes go out to Mike Melvill, the pilot of SS1, and soon to be the first civilian astronaut.

A few of the sites I've been using to follow this:

Space.com and AvWeb.

There is supposed to be an audio feed from this site, but I haven't been able to connect. It's probably overloaded with listeners.

MSNBC and Fox News are breaking in with live coverage. They say they will return when the release time arrives.

Although I appreciate being able to see live video on these cable channels, I'm pretty disappointed with the quality of the reporters. Their commentary seems to be not very knowledgeable about the context of this project and the aviation world. CNN is supposed to be covering it, but I can't seem to find CNN on the cable system here at the lake.

More later.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:03 AM

June 20, 2004

Like 1903 all over again

AP Science, via Yahoo!:

SpaceShipOne will try to climb 62 miles up Monday morning, leaving Earth's atmosphere for a few minutes to become the first privately funded, non-governmental manned spacecraft.

The launch is scheduled for 9:30 am Eastern time tomorrow morning. SpaceShip one will release from the "mothership" at 50,000 feet, and rocket out of the atmosphere, at approx. 10:30. It will land at Mojave about 30 mins after that.

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:47 PM

Abigail Adams

"Daily example is the most subtle of poisons."

-- Abigail Adams

(BTW, I think Abigail Adams is one of the most overlooked of our founding "fathers".)

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:56 PM

Kids' day-trips to Pawtuckaway

SeacoastOnline.com :

The [New Heights] Teen Center... will be offering a program full of day-trips to ... Pawtuckaway State Park...

[via infoPawtuckaway.com]

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:52 PM

June 19, 2004

Dirt Dogs headline

BostonDirtDogs: "Kentucky Fried Kevin Greases Go Ahead HR Past Steroid King"

For those not in the Boston area, Kevin Millar, who hit the home run referred to in the headline, is currently appearing in a TV commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:02 AM

June 18, 2004

The Redsox play the Giants

The Redsox play the Giants tonite. I've been looking forward to this game for a long time.

When I lived in Calif I was a little bit of a Giants fan. And I loved PacBell Park, it's a beautiful place.

The game doesn't start till after 10pm here on the east coast, so it's gonna be a late night.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:48 PM

June 17, 2004


Very humid here today in southern NH. Of course I picked today to do some furniture moving that I've been visualizing for some time. As a result I was a sweaty treat.

It's probably the wrong menu for this warm evening, but I'm working on a batch of my world famous meatloaf for dinner. Yumm. Problem is, there was only enough ketchup on hand to make the special sauce. I'm debating whether to make a quick trip out to the store for more. Meatloaf without ketchup is like pancakes without syrup.

It's supposed to thunderstorm later this evening.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:47 PM

June 16, 2004

First time for everything

Tonight I went to a meeting with a web development client by boat .

As I headed out to my car, for the drive to his home on the other side of the lake, I glanced out at the water and thought, why not. So instead, I hopped into the little aluminum boat and went for a cruise.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:20 PM

Log Cabin Island

scottJust back from Geocaching. Scott, my brother who really gets off on this kind of thing, and I went out on the pontoon boat to the island which is at the north end of the lake.

We landed on what turned out to be the wrong side of the island, so we had to bushwhack our way to the location. Then we spent a loooooonnnng time trying to find the cache. We nearly gave up more than once, then Scott found it.

Geocaching tip: Always bring bug spray.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:48 PM

Super shirts

duofold_veritechA little while ago, Beth, my sister the unexpected fitness-buff, was touting super socks. Are these shirts made from the same stuff? "Duofold Varitec T-Shirt"

[via Cool Tools]

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:26 PM

On Dave Winer and the changes to weblogs.com

I want to make a few comments about the weblogs.com "controversy"

This whole thing is pretty unfortunate. Both in the the way people have reacted to the changes Dave has made, and the way Dave has implemented them.

I like Dave. I admire the work he's done, in popularizing blogs, and before that. I believe that, after all is said and done, he's a good guy. For example, his support for the weblogs.com free hosting all these years has been more generous than we have a right to expect from any company or individual.

But I'm not unaware of Dave's shortcomings.

He is, after all, a geek programmer. He's proud of that, and rightly so. But one of the attributes that often comes with those gifts -- in my experience anyway -- is an oversimplified sense of: what's "right", how to support what's "right", and how people will respond to that support.

He has always had strong opinions on many subjects, and he's not reluctant to state them. This occasionally causes misunderstandings and/or rubs people the wrong way.

It also appears that Dave is going through some personal difficulties right now, both mundane and serious.

What I'm getting at here is that, for various, non-sinister reasons, Dave has inadvertently caused a big fuss over his decision/need to end the weblogs.com free ride. Maybe he could have done it differently. But he doesn't deserve to be flamed over it.

Cut the guy some slack. He's just a guy, who's passionate about the same things that many of us are passionate about. He's shown the way in this new medium. He's given many of us free stuff. Now he's trying to untangle a situation that his generosity has gotten him into. Let's let this play out.

One aspect of this that DOES concern me is permalinks.

Dave has indicated that, at least in some cases, when these bloggers find new hosting, they will be able to continue to be addressable as a subdomain of weblogs.com. That is important. To the extent that this transition means that some of the blogs' permalinks will be broken, well, that is unfortunate.

The only part of this whole thing where I will urge Dave to act, is in allowing any blog that desires it, to stay under the weblogs.com domain, so the links don't rot.

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:52 PM

Woo hoo! I'm cool!

I just got myself a gmail email address. It is jackhodgson AT gmail.com. Send me stuff.

UPDATE: BTW, this is not an announcement of me changing my email address. If you already have an email address for me, that's still the one to use. This gmail address is just for fun (for now anyway).

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:28 PM

And the baseball's fun too.

Sherman sends along this story about the ballpark where I used to have season tix.

In Turkey Mike's Barbecue Pavilion, located down the left-field line at San Jose Muni, the Giants offer not only what may easily be the best barbecue venue in the Bay Area, but what many ballpark connoisseurs believe might be the best cuisine at any stadium in America, regardless of size or sport.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:17 PM


I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening in a Strategy Planning session for a local theatre group where I'm a board member.

I've participated in many of these in my time, including at least one other time for this particular org, and I always find them to be disappointing and frustrating.

Using this kind of thing for brainstorming, and as a sort of focus group, for accumulating ideas about the organization's potentials and challenges, is fine. That process can be interesting and educational.

But when it comes time to actually try to craft a strategy and/or plan, these things always bog down.

It's unrealistic to put 16 people (in yesterday's case) in a room and expect them to agree on anything that is not watered down or mediocre. The unusual, forward-thinking ideas will always be shouted down. The few who have genuine insights will often be overwhelmed by the masses who don't know the subtleties of a subject.

It's always frustrating.

Personally I'd like to see the whole process stop after the brainstorming part, then let the organization's leaders take all this raw material and shape it into two or three plans that the board can consider and endorse.

But as always, you want to have the board only define the broad outlines of the organization's goals and limitations. Then let your leaders choose the ways that they are accomplished.

The most important, and basically only, thing that a non-profit board should do, is to hire the executive director. The organization will thrive, drift, languish, or die, based on the quality of that one act.

I've been involved with a lot of non-profits over the years. Some have had good boards, and some bad ones. But the only thing that ever made these orgs great was the quality of the executive director.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:09 PM


ectoLately I've been hearing so much about Ecto, a program to simplify blogging, that I've decided to give it a try. Here's my first (test) post using it.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:44 AM


Many years ago, I was dating a woman who was getting a much fancier college education that I ever did.

She was reading Ulysses.

I picked it up and read a few pages. Interesting, but that's as far as I ever went with it.

Apparently the novel Ulysses, which is of course a major classic, took place all on one day. June 16, in the year 1904. So if you're a James Joyce person, today, the 100th anniversary of that day, is a special day.

Google has created one of its special logos for it. Ed Cone is the one who called my attention to this significance. Here's the first posting I came across that explains what's what.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:18 AM

June 14, 2004

Rocket fizzles

Well I guess I can take some satisfaction from the idea that maybe my sudden interest played a part in jinxing Roger Clemens and causing the end of his historic win streak.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:59 PM

Oshkosh Flooding.

Photo from AvWeb.com
AvWeb has reported in today's issue of their online newsletter, that the EAA Airventure grounds have suffered some extensive flooding from recent heavy rains. AvWeb seems to minimize the significance of this, but it would be a big thing to happen during the fly-in.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:24 PM

Credit where credit is due.

I'm on the record here as not being a Roger Clemens fan. But any baseball fan has to acknowledge that his accomplishments so far this season are impressive.

He's 9-0 so far for the season with his newly adopted team, the Houston Astros. Tonight he takes the mound to win #10. If it's on TV here in New England, I may watch.

UPDATE: The Astros game is on ESPN tonight at 8.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:03 AM


I'm not a really big fan of Loons.

But they are very popular. Over on the PLIA site, one of the recent member polls was "favorite lake bird?", and Loons won hands down (webbed-feet down?).

There are folks who invest a lot of time and money in admiring and protecting the Loons. And it's been successful. Like many bird types, the Loon population is nicely recovering from the near extinction of the DDT era.

But I've always found Loons to be kinda unexciting. I've never seen one flying. Their calls, to me, all sound either panicky or pissed off. And they just plain look like they're not having any fun.

This morning I was standing on the dock, drinking my coffee, when a Loon swam by. He was alternately looking left and right, then ducking his head under the water.

As I watched, he was joined by another full grown loon, and then a few minutes later, by a third. After a few minutes of what to me appeared to be some establishing of territorial supremacy, two of the birds did something I've never seen before.

One of them started flapping its wings and accellerating across the surface of the water. I thought it was gonna take flight, which would have been interesting enough. But, as it raced across the surface, flapping its wings and pushing along the surface with its feet, instead of lifting off, it suddenly stretched out its neck, tucked in its wings, extended it legs backward, and skimmed across the surface in its belly.

Like a kid on a slip-n-slide. It looked like fun. A few seconds later another of the three loons did the same thing.

Maybe this is just an effective, loon-ish, way to quickly move to a new location, but I prefer to think the the birds were having some fun too. And that elevates them just a little bit in my estimation.

[By the way, for those keeping track, I later saw a baby loon with one of these adults. I only saw one little one. It was furry, brown looking. It swam around the adult for a bit and then climbed onto its back, and under the feathers. I looked around and saw no sign of any other young loons.]

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:56 AM

June 12, 2004

A birthday week

"It's your birthday week. It's a week of festivities, like Mardi Gras, or Lent."

-- Jed Bartlet character, The West Wing TV show

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:55 PM

Annual Meeting

Headed back for NH for the Annual Meeting of the Pawtuckaway Lake Association.

Presentations by water quality people, fish and game, local town authorities, and more. 5 hours in the elementary school cafeteria.

A very cool way to spend a beautiful Saturday. Not.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:26 AM

June 11, 2004

I guess I'm just a lightweight

Beer good!
A few years back I used to attend 4 or 5 baseball games every week. I could scream at the field all night long. But tonight I started losing my voice by the 5th inning.

Yes, this is a backhanded way to say that Rick, my persistent and very generous friend, managed to get us into the Redsox game tonight against the LA Dodgers, and we had a lot of fun.

Rick's in town from California and really wanted go to the game. He had heard that they start selling same day tix at 5pm, so we got there at 4pm and discovered nearly 200 people already in line. We waited the hour, plus 30 mins more for the line to move up, and managed to get two very nice left-field grandstand seats.

It was a great game. A scoreless pitcher's duel through 7 1/2 innings, when Boston's David Ortiz hit a solo homer into the bullpen. Timlin shut the Dodgers down in the eighth. Keith "That's All" Foulke was cruising for his next save when Manny Ramirez dropped a slightly challenging, but very catchable, pop-up that should have ended the game.

In the bottom of the ninth, Ortiz cleaned up the mess by batting in the winning run.

This is the first ballgame I've been to in way too long. Rick was great in gently, but firmly, aiming me to Fenway.

He'll probably embarass me in comments by describing how I wandered around the park before the game just gawking at the field. I've been there before, but it's always a magical place.

A good way to spend a Friday night. And we won too!

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:57 PM

Salute when you say that.

Watching the Reagan stuff on TV this morning I got to thinking about how much we like military ceremony and regimentation in this country.

Why does so much of this "state funeral" revolve around uniformed soldiers, and gunshot salutes, and marching?

Why aren't the pallbearers Senators and community leaders? The President is the leader of more than just the military.

I've noticed this in the General Aviation world too. Many pilots tend to enjoy pretending to be military. Not just the gear and equiment, but the procedures and structure.

It's interesting that an otherwise totally civilian pilot will salute you at the conclusion of some maneuver, like we saw from the fighter pilots on Top Gun. And groups of pilots and av enthusiasts will call their clubs -- which are all about building planes in their garages -- "squadrons", and will call the club president "commander", and the newsletter editor "information officer".

What is it that fascintates us I wonder.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:07 PM

A long way from APDA

I'm down in Boston today to meetup with RickF, my friend who got the girl, who is in town for one of his periodic visits to try and manipulate the stock market.

The last few times he's been in town it's been the cold weather season, so today we're gonna wander around town without a bitter wind trailing us. The women should be wearing more interesting clothes too, not that married Rick will notice such a thing.

The big item on the agenda is that Rick is hot to try and score some tickets to tonight's Red Sox game against the LA Dodgers. I'm a little dubious, but at the very least we'll be wandering the Fenway area before and during the game, and that should be fun.

I'll report later how it works out.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:58 PM

June 10, 2004

Every now and then

If you don't usually read the comments on this blog you should make an exception today and read Sherman's review of US President's since the 1950s.

Eisenhower: I can barely remember him. I was six when he left office and actually had to look up the correct spelling of his name to write this text. But he was probably the last bald man who could get elected President, at least until Michael Jordan runs. He was an old war hero, and maybe one of the most significant things he did was set up the contrast for his successor that made the young Senator from Massachusetts so popular.

Read more... Scroll down a bit to find his comment.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:11 PM

Bad TiVo

Andrew Grumet:

Hmm, maybe TiVo doesn't get it after all. I didn't see anything in their press release about being able to view video from the home network. It sounds like you can only share "content -- including music and photos".

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:56 PM

Ray Charles

CNN is reporting that legendary singer Ray Charles has died.

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:45 PM


All this media coverage of Ronald Reagan led me to realize that I couldn't remember who he defeated in the election for his second term.

Here's a list of all the Presidential Election losers since 1960.

1960 Richard Nixon
1964 Barry Goldwater
1968 Hubert Humphrey
1972 George McGovern
1976 Gerald Ford
1980 Jimmy Carter
1984 Walter Mondale *
1988 Michael Dukakis
1992 George HW Bush
1996 Robert Dole *
2000 George W Bush, err, Al Gore

* these are the ones I had to look up.

In looking up '84 and '96, I was reminded that there were often candidates beyond the second major party. In keeping with the trivial nature of this posting, I'm ignoring those candidates, although they are certainly losers too.

Here's a fact-filled website with all sorts of stats about past presidential elections.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:27 AM

Wicked Good Stuff

Meta-Efficient: the blog of efficient things.

We continuously review meta-efficient products and techniques.

For a product or technique to be considered meta-efficient it must be: Energy & Resource Efficient -- Affordable -- Reliable -- Non-polluting -- Portable (where possible)

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:59 AM

June 09, 2004

Humid Plus

Yesterday and today are the first days of the season where it's really felt hot and humid.

As I sit here on the deck, blogging by the side of the lake, I'm hearing thunder in the distance. The forecast is for the possibility of some really big t-storms this afternoon and evening.

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:02 PM

Saving the world, one errand at a time.

Yesterday was a busy day of preserving the environment.

In the morning I supervised the monthly water testing program here at the lake. It's all part of the NH DES's Volunteer Lake Assessment Program.

Next, Scott, my brother who likes heavy metal rock, and I drove the samples to the DES Lab in Concord. We collect 23 samples from 9 different locations. These samples are delivered to the lab in varying sized plastic bottles. The Lab turns the contents of the bottles into numbers on paper that become part of an annual report each year.

After dropping off the water, we visited the local Borders Book and Music store, where we scored a copy of the highly anticipated new Velvet Revolver album.

Lunch at Wendy's. I don't know if it's just since Dave died, but the service at Wendy's just keeps getting worse and worse. Too bad.

Last evening was the first meeting of the new Nottingham Board of Selectmen's Pawtuckaway Lake Advisory Committee. The Board has realized that it's time to take some action to head off a looming Cyanobacteria problem here in the lake. I've been asked to serve on this committee to investigate and evaluate the problem and possible solutions.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:59 PM


Ross Mayfied reports that Mountain Lions have been spotted in the San Fransquito Creek area of Palo Alto, California. This is only a couple of blocks from where I lived for 8 years. I used to bike and run along this creek bed all the time.

Darn, I'm missing all the fun!

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:29 PM

June 07, 2004

True Knowledge

Bill Ives, is his blog "Portals and KM", writes about Plato:

Plato, one of the early information technology analysts, said that text, made possible by the newly invented phonetic alphabet, was a better means to convey information than the oral tradition. The burden for storage of data and ideas was taken off the human brain and placed on text, freeing the mind for other things, like generating more information and new ideas. Besides, the mind tends to get the details mixed up anyway and text does not change on its own. This new invention made possible many breakthroughs such as modern science and the document management software industry. But Plato also said that true knowledge and understanding only comes through the dialog of viewpoints.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:16 PM


"Brats... somewhere between sausage, and a religion."
-- radio commercial

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:07 PM

Rutan X-Prize clarification

According to this item at TechnologyReview.com, the June 21 flight of SpaceShipOne will not be one of the X-Prize qualifying flights.

The flight itself won’t be one of the two qualifying flights needed to win the prize, since Scaled will apparently not carry the equivalent mass of two passengers as required for the X Prize rules.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:51 AM

Damn Shame

Did you know that the movie Damn Yankees, a classic, is not available on DVD?

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:26 AM

June 06, 2004

John Steinbeck

"The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second."

-- John Steinbeck, novelist, Nobel laureate (1902-1968)

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:06 PM

June 04, 2004

It's the seats that killed us.

ESPN.com has just finished visiting, and rating, all the ballparks in the Major Leagues. Fenway finished 11th, and my other fave, Pac Bell Park, was second.

Page 2 wanted to visit all the major-league ballparks this summer -- and so we did. We decided upon our own arbitrary scorecard to grade the ballparks and compiled the scores in 20 different categories ranging from the exterior architecture of the stadium to the quality of hot dogs and concessions to the ease of moving from the cheap seats to the prime seats.

Fenway scored very highly in all but one of the 20 categories: Seat Comfort. We ranked last in the Majors in this category. And that's fair, I guess, cause the seats are horrible.

But just for fun, I recalc'ed the results with Seat Comfort removed from everyone's rankings, and Fenway jumps to fourth place. PNC, Pac Bell and Camden Yards are still 1,2, and 3, but Fenway moves to something more like its rightful place.

Maybe this is a note for the owners, that seat quality should be high on the fenway-fixer-upper list.

(Note to ESPN. The arithmetic on your table is wrong. When I added up the rows, I found 6 parks whose "Total" didn't check. There may be explanations and footnotes that I missed by not reading the text for all the parks, but you'd think that the table would add up.)

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:32 AM

June 03, 2004

Swedish proverb

"Those who wish to sing always find a song."

-- Swedish proverb

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:00 PM

SpaceShipOne to attempt XPrize flights later this month

This is a big story, and when they succeed it will be Page One everywhere. It will also become the big thing at Oshkosh this summer.

If they succeed in these June attempts, I'm hoping that they will bring both craft to the show. There's precedent for this, Rutan brought Voyager to Oshkosh before and, I think after, the round-the-world flight.

This alone will make OSH the place to be this summer.

Reuters via Yahoo!:

The world's first privately funded rocket plane plans to shoot beyond the uppermost layers of Earth's atmosphere later this month in a bid to demonstrate the viability of commercial space flight, organizers of the project said on Wednesday.

AP, via Yahoo!:

SpaceShipOne, created by aviation designer Burt Rutan and funded by billionaire Paul Allen, will attempt to reach an altitude of 62 miles on a suborbital flight over the Mojave Desert on June 21.

UPDATE: Here's a link to Scaled Composites' website. As of right now, though, the link on their front page, to details about the flight, is broken. (Burt and co. build awesome air/space-craft, but their website is weak.)

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:43 AM

June 02, 2004

Slow going...

Once again I want to apologize to Gone East readers and comment-posters, for the occasional slowness of this site.

It appears to be the result of performance problems at my new hosting provider. The problem seems to happen most often around 12noon eastern time. I suspect this is the result of my provider's systems being overloaded during this hour, which is east coast lunch-time and west coast arrival-at-work time. I'm not ready to abandon them yet, but I'm considering other options.

In the meantime, my apologies for the delays, and the failures, and I ask for your continuing patience.

BTW, for now the best thing to do when you encounter delays here is to just try again later. It's lame, sorry.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:52 PM

We're all going to Brazil

The CIA is investing in a lot of information mining companies these days. Here's a USAToday article that lists some of their investments and the areas they are researching.

There's no guarantee that a specific technology backed by In-Q-Tel will be absorbed by the CIA. But In-Q-Tel's investments provide a glimpse of what the CIA wants and needs. Some broad categories...

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:43 PM