March 31, 2003

Visit to VT

Scott and I were in VT over the weekend visiting our brother Dave, and his family.

Scott and Dave are real big on winter sports. Skiing, snowshoeing, cold stuff. Dave and his wife Lisa have been inviting me to visit all winter, and I wanted to. But only this past weekend did I consider it sufficiently spring-like to venture up into the wilderness.

Well of course, on the day I was visiting, the pleasant weather they've been having was interrupted by a spring snowstorm that dropped 4-5 inches on the area.

We had planned to go on a hike up one the the logging roads near their home, and they warned me that it was an all-weather thing. So we bundled up, strapped on the snowshoes, and headed out on a four hour hike along a roaring stream.

We mostly followed the old road, but spent about an hour "bushwacking" along the edge of the stream, and up and down its steep, snow-covered, banks. It snowed, sometimes pretty hard, during the whole hike. (Click on the image for a bigger version.)

It was tiring, and for about 12 hours afterwards every move I made was accompanied by a loud groan of pain, but all-in-all it was a great day. Beautiful country, even if it was snowing. (And their kids are cute.)

Posted by jghiii at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2003

Weblog Anthem

Is this the first song written about weblogging? The tune is a little bland for my taste, but the lyrics are right on. See the full lyrics here, and there's an mp3 of the song too.

Blank page, nothin' to say
Just pictures of my cats today
Thought about the war a bunch
Now let me tell you what I had for lunch

I wanna be Ben, I wanna be Mena
If only for a moment or two
I wanna be Cory, I'll even be Winer
If that's what I gotta do

Posted by jghiii at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2003

Fan Favorite Sent to San Diego

You're sitting at Fenway, a particular Boston player comes to bat, and crowd would start to chant. The first few times you hear this it seems that they're booing him. "Boo boo boo." Then you realize they are not saying "boo", they're saying "Lou". A real fan favorite, whenever Lou Merloni would come to the plate the fans would chant his name.

He tried hard for the Sox, filling in wherever and whenever they asked, usually playing well, but always just a little too overshadowed by others.

Due to an oddity of his contract, the Sox were able to send him up and down to the minors over and over and over. You felt bad for him. he was good, but never quite good enough. A big favorite of the fans, but then back to Pawtucket.

I've been rooting for Lou Merloni for years. I'd cheer "Lou" with the rest. I was hoping this was the year he'd stick with the big team. But the signs were on the wall.

So in a move that I think was, at least in part, a gesture of thanks to a loyal Red Sox player, Lou Merloni was dealt to the San Diego Padres. Rather than keep on the hook, the Boston management let him go to a team where he could be a big league player every day.

Good Luck. "Lou Lou Lou Lou!"

Posted by jghiii at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2003

Charity, mud, boating.

Sorry to be away, but life has been busy for the past few days.

Over the weekend I co-chaired a fundraiser for a local theatre group. We reaised over $20,000.

Mud season has arrived. The driveway is a big mess. I went up the other day to try and improve it, but I think I turned it into quicksand.

The ice is all gone in the shallow water among the islands in front of where I'm living. The past two days we've gone out in kayaks and canoes, and had fun chipping away at the remaining ice. I think that we are the first boats to be launched this year. Cool.

Posted by jghiii at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2003

Ah Cambridge

As I wrote awhile back about burrittos, my visits to Cambridge and Harvard Sq. have been very seductive. Reading about Dave Winer's arrival there, and seeing the pics he's posting, may tip me over the edge to moving back down there.

Posted by jghiii at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2003

One of Those Days

I spent most of today keeping an eye on the TV coverage of the War. The geek in me was intrigued by the new tech they were using to collect and send back sound and images.

I especially liked Kyra Phillips reporting at 10 frames per seconds from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Abe Lincoln with F18s taking off and landing over her shoulder.

I wonder if this satellite cell phone, 10 fps video, is going to legitimize web-based, low bandwidth, video feeds.

The whole thing seems to be going surprisingly well. We'll see.

Posted by jghiii at 08:21 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2003

Interesting piece at on the US's place in the new world order that is evolving. The Arrogant Empire:

"Given this situation, perhaps what is most surprising is that the world has not ganged up on America already."


"The point is to scare our enemies, not terrify the rest of the world."


"...with the exception of Britain and Israel, every country the administration has dealt with feels humiliated by it."

Posted by jghiii at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2003

Red Sox Win AL East, Yankees Finish Third.

But we lost the Championship Series to the Blue Jays who went on to win the World Series.

Well, not really. It was in a fantasy league that has already played out every game, of every team, for the upcoming 2003 season.

Check it out...

Posted by jghiii at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

The war is going to start soon. I wonder what will happen.

Posted by jghiii at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

If TV ads were clickable...

There's a piece over on Slashdot about how Proctor & Gamble has discovered that viewers' retention of commercial messages on TV, is the same whether they watch the ads at regular speed, or fast-forward through them with TiVo.

I'm not surprised at this. I've suspected for some time that the alleged "ineffectualness" of web-based advertising is not that the web stuff doesn't work, but that the conventional print and broadcast advertising isn't as effective as we thought. Or, more likely, they both work just fine, but we have handy metrics for the web stuff that makes it look weak. It seems likely to me that TV and magazine ads would have just as bad a click-thru rate.

Posted by jghiii at 09:20 AM

Over on Sandhill Trek

I just came across a couple of good things in Frank Paynter's Sandhill Trek weblog. First, there's a nice piece on his Dad, who has just received an award for his work in engineering and team management.

Second is, his observations about the kinda-scary, SARS, pneumonia thing that's popping up in Asia:

"Now for you conspiracy theorists, I gotta tell ya that Bush and Cheney, evil as they obviously are... Bush and Cheney and their mighty alliance of faded imperialists really trooly had nothing to do with it this time.  Jacques did it.  That's right... I'm blaming it on the French..."

Posted by jghiii at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2003

blog from Iraq

Kevin Sites is a CNN reporter in Iraq. He's writing a blog from the battlefield.

Posted by jghiii at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

Internet architects are considering a major restructuring to make it easier to limit SPAM.

"SMTP was developed some 20 years ago for a totally different type of Internet, one that was very open and trusting," said Paul Judge, the research group's chairman and director of research at the e-mail security firm CipherTrust Inc. "Today, the Internet is not those two things."

Posted by jghiii at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2003

Spring... please?

It's shaping up to be a really nice day. It was above freezing before 9am. It's 40 now. Sky clear wind light.

Yesterday I took a short walk up Mt Brook. More signs of activity at the foot bridge. It looks like they tried unsuccessfully to make a fire. As before, the tracks go up the hill from the bridge, to the road. They do not continue upstream to the bends.

Snowmobilers are still out. They have this feel of almost desperation, hanging on for that last weekend of sledding before the snow goes. It won't be many more weekends before they have to stop.

Posted by jghiii at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2003

Friday Five

1. Do you like talking on the phone? Why or why not? Short calls, not long ones. I don't think that I'm wired to receive information in audio form. For example, I have friends who love to be read to. I don't. On the other hand, I love Prairie Home Companion on NPR Radio. Go figure.

2. Who is the last person you talked to on the phone? Jack M, the president of the Prescott Park Arts Fest.

3. About how many telephones do you have at home? Not many, three I think. Plus my cell phone.

4. Have you encountered anyone who has really bad phone manners? What happened? Telephone sales people. I do my best to be rude back them, and waste their time.

5. Would you rather pick up the phone and call someone or write them an e-mail or a letter? Why or why not? I'm much more likely to write an email, but I wish I called more. It's more warm and personal.

(Inspired by

Posted by jghiii at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2003

One step further...

The people running our country think this is a good idea: reports, "The cafeteria menus in the three House office buildings changed the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries," in a culinary rebuke of France stemming from anger over the country's refusal to support the U.S. position on Iraq."

Posted by jghiii at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2003

Best Burrito East of the Mississippi

For the past 2-3 weeks I've been having cravings for a really good take-out burrito. Rob and I used to enjoy them from a little mexican place in Palo Alto across the street from The Creamery (I hear that that place is gone now ::sigh:: ). We'd also occasionally get them from this little take-out window place on El Camino.

They don't have burritos in New Hampshire. At least not the big, two-handful, wrapped in tin-foil, full of rice and beans and chicken and lots of other good stuff kind that we had in California.

Here they have Taco Bell.

Tonight I was in Cambridge for the Mac User Group Meeting. I parked my car on Mass Ave just outside of Harvard Sq and hopped on the T to MIT.

Later, heading home, I climbed into my car. I was about to put the key in the ignition when I glanced out the window across the street. There was a little hole-in-the-wall mexican place with a "Take Out Burritos" neon in the window. It looked just like the places I'd go in California. Just like NONE of the mexican places I'd seen so far in New England. This was a no-brainer.

I ordered a chicken burrito grande with guacamole. Just watching the guy assemble it, I knew I was in for a treat.

I had intended to save it until I got home, but... well, just a bite or two here in the car would be OK.

I nearly finished it right there. Best burrito I've had since Calif.

That's actually a little bit of faint praise, since the burritos here are nothing to cheer about. But take my word for it. This was a good one. This one was as good as the best I'd had out there.

Boca Grande, on Mass Ave, just west of Harvard Sq. I'm going back there again soon.

Posted by jghiii at 11:30 AM | Comments (2)

March 10, 2003

Ice-Out Guessing

I've been working with neighbor George to create a contest for people to guess the date that the Lake reaches "Ice-Out", aka 90% ice free.

Check it out.

Posted by jghiii at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2003

Gashlycrumb Tinies Online

The Gashlycrumb Tinies are now online. This "story" made Mary and I into big fans of Edward Gorey 20 (!) years ago. (Thanks Boingboing.)

Posted by jghiii at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

How to Win Friends and Influence People... Not!

Tony Perkins, former editor of the recently failed Red Herring magazine, and now founder of a business blog called Always On Network: "Now there are people like me coming along and trying to figure out how to package [blogs]. It's time to take it to the next level."

Posted by jghiii at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)


New ways to improve our eyesight:

"The first is an easy-to-use technology that will soon be available. The second is a complicated technology that probably won't be available for a decade or more. The third is a bizarre gene therapy that would be most remarkable of all, if anyone can figure out how to make it work."
[Thanks to Kurzweil.]

Posted by jghiii at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2003

World of Ends

Doc Searls and David Weinberger have created a treatise they call The World of Ends. Ten truths that help one understand the reality of the internet. For example: "5. All the Internet's value grows on its edges."

Posted by jghiii at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

Mall Guard Fired.

The Albany New York Times Union: "The security officer at Crossgates Mall who signed a trespassing complaint against a war protester was fired Friday."

Although apparently he signed the complaint on the direct order of his boss, who told the police that the guard, "...represented the company and should sign". No word on whether the boss was fired too.

Posted by jghiii at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

Disturbing Truth?

Thomas P.M. Barnett in Esquire Magazine:

"History is full of turning points like that terrible day, but no turning-back-points.  We ignore the Gap's existence at our own peril, because it will not go away until we as a nation respond to the challenge of making globalization truly global."

Posted by jghiii at 09:18 AM

Science Fiction Book Club: The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years, 1953-2002.

Posted by jghiii at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2003

Friday Five

1. What was the last song you heard?
I'm listening to right now. They're playing "Josh Joplin Group - Camera One".

2. What were the last two movies you saw?
I assume we're talking about big-screen movies, which would be "Harry Potter II" and "Tuck Everlasting". Both with my niece. The first I liked alot, the latter I could have passed on.

3. What were the last three things you purchased?
Groceries, McDonalds, Bird Feeder Food.

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?
EAA meeting, Write... Umm, that's alot right there.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to?
Scott, Cindy W, Matt G, Jack M's housekeeper, Beth.

Inspired by

Posted by jghiii at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2003

So THAT'S what that's called!

One of the great celebrities of the internet age, along with the @ symbol and the "dot", is the "forward-slash". But did you know that its formal name is solidus?

It turns out that alot of keyboard characters have other names.

Posted by jghiii at 07:09 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2003

Speak & Spell

Careful this makes sounds and it's kinda loud.

Posted by jghiii at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

Letter of resignation

I don't know why there's so much political stuff today. Maybe it's the weather.

Career U.S Diplomat John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell:

"The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America?s most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.

"...this Administration has chosen to make terrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government."


Posted by jghiii at 06:23 PM | Comments (0)

So terribly botched

Talking Points Memo: "...the extreme discomfort of those like myself who think we should deal with Saddam but have started to wonder at what point the enterprise becomes so terribly botched that the cure becomes more harmful than the disease."

Posted by jghiii at 05:52 PM | Comments (0)

A Sign of Spring

I saw a chipmunk today.

"In late November, chipmunks head underground to their burrows, where they will spend the entire winter. Chipmunks are one of the first animals to emerge in early spring."

Posted by jghiii at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

Cool Toy

"Cuboro is not a conventional marble track. It is a construction toy that lets you create your own labyrinth. The precise materials let the marbles run smoothly through each of your mazes. Children and grown-ups alike delight in designing and then testing their ideas."

Posted by jghiii at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Pretty much what you'd expect

BrianStorms has done an interesting count of how many times various words appear in the website.

Gotta give them some credit for "Apple" and "baseball" scoring so high.

Posted by jghiii at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

Incredibly Clumsy

Dan Gillmor: "It's incredible how clumsy the administration has been in its rush to war, taking what still seems like a reasonable goal -- ridding the world of a murderous thug like Saddam Hussein and promoting democracy in the Middle East -- and turning it so sour."

Posted by jghiii at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

GeekMeet Links

Here are some of the things we talked about at last night's monthly GeekMeet:

Fly implanted with a webserver. (scroll down below the red text)

Reasons why you might want to be scared of Google:

OceanStore, a massively-distributed hard drive

Totally free web hosting??? (I thought I checked this before, but looking at it again tonight, the "catch" may be that you need to register your domain with them.)

I never got around to mentioning it tonight, but there are interesting color tools here:

Posted by jghiii at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2003

Onscreen Color Tools

For you artists and designers out there. EasyRGB provides an interesting set of online tools for working with colors in the screen. My fave so far is Color Harmonies. And I can't figure out how (if?) Monitor Calibration works.

Posted by jghiii at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2003

iPhoto 2 Step-by-Step Guide

I've finally posted the first version of my quick-reference guide for iPhoto 2. You can see it at

Posted by jghiii at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

Wait a minute...

That's the weather in New England for you.

Last week we had two nights of minus 5 temperatures. Then on Sunday it rained and inch and a half. And today it's back down to 7 degrees, so everything if frozen solid.

Our driveway, which is a medium steep hill for the first 20 feet, was flowing water yesterday, and today is a sheet of solid ice.

Posted by jghiii at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)