November 30, 2003


I really love my nieces and nephews. But every time I spend any extended amount of time with them, they infect me with one of their sore throats and/or fevers.

I woke up in the middle of the night with a ferocious sore throat. The slightest swallowing feels like knives stabbing me in the tonsels.

Germy little creatures, but you gotta love 'em.

Posted by jghiii at 12:20 PM | Comments (2)

Old news.

Of course, the big news over the holiday break was that the Red Sox have signed Curt Schilling to be part of the starting pitcher rotation. This is very promising. It's also an unannounced, but pretty open secret, that they's also hired Terry Francona to be the new field manager.

Things are looking very promising, here in Red Sox Nation.

Posted by jghiii at 12:14 PM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2003

Returning to the real world

Back from Vermont and another wonderful Turkey day at my brother's in Warren. We ate mass quantities, and visited with 3 generations of family. Thanks to Lisa and Dave for their boundless hospitality.

Posted by jghiii at 07:06 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2003

Don't eat too much.

I'm about to head off into the land of few internet connections. I may be able to get on with dialup, but otherwise I won't be posting again until Sat nite.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Posted by jghiii at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

Lake Level

Back at the lake on my way to VT for turkey. This is the first time in a week and a half that I've been able to take a lake measurement. I had heard that it had dropped alot. And it has. But not really at a rate any faster than last year.

Posted by jghiii at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

Quiet Day

Blogging will be light today as I get ready, and head off for Thanksgiving in Vermont.

Posted by jghiii at 10:27 AM | Comments (3)

A lot of good stuff here.

SteveG points us to a site I've never been to before, lost remote, that seems to be a blog about the video news-gathering business. I'll have to keep an eye on that.

The specific item he tells us about is a brief white paper by Terry Heaton and "video news on demand":

One day, video news on demand (VNOD) portal companies will offer an organized form of multimedia news clips produced by a variety of journalists , similar to what Google News offers via its computerized text editorial system," Heaton writes. "The business model will be advertising, and independent VJs will get paid based on the number of times their work is viewed.

A SciFi book I read a few years back, called, if I remember correctly, Heavy Weather, had a freelance video journalist who travelled around the country. She drove, worked from, and lived in, a van that contained a blue-screen virtual studio, editing systems and net connection. She'd record and edit reports, then upload them to the net where they were watched on a pay-per-view basis. At the start of the story she was a stuggling freelancer, but as she developed a really big story the viewing of her reports skyrocketed.

Is THAT video blogging. Not strictly speaking, but it's close, and in any event it's an exciting model.

[BTW, I'll dig into my library and find out which book this really was. But if it was Heavy Weather, it's no wonder it contained such cool ideas, it's by Bruce Sterling.]

Posted by jghiii at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2003

Put it on my tab.

Dan Gillmor:

This [the Bush administration's massive increase in the federal deficit], as much as anything else, will be the legacy of the Bush administration and a Republican-controlled Congress that will do anything to hold onto power and push through their radical programs for decades to come.

The sheer recklessness of what's going on in Washington is beyond breathtaking. We are creating a monster for our kids to fight. What will they think when they realize that they're going to pay for our selfishness? They may hate us.

Posted by jghiii at 05:12 PM | Comments (4)

Is that still true?

When I was in high school, when they were teaching us all those fundamental geometry things using a compass and straightedge -- like bisecting a line and finding the center of a circle -- they taught us that you can't trisect an angle. They said great minds had thought about it for a long time and concluded that it was impossible with just those simple tools.

I've been thinking about this lately (I have no idea why) and it occurs to me that it MUST be possible, cause nature can do it. Nature does it when it makes a snowflake. Half of the flake is evenly divided into three.

So if it can be done by nature, then doesn't that mean it must be possible? We just haven't figured it out. Or so it seems so to me.

Posted by jghiii at 04:48 PM | Comments (1)

Still Looking for ME.

Howard Hallis, The Picture of Everything.

[Thanks Scott McCloud]

Posted by jghiii at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

What's up with that?

I'm trying to figure out the significance to the little animated graphic of two amish guys (that's what it looks like to me anyway) that Dave has used a couple of times recently on his site.

Anyone? Anyone?

Posted by jghiii at 02:29 PM | Comments (1)

Audio/Video Blogging

As this weblog grows in readership (which, I'm pleased to say, it seems to be doing, knock-on-wood), I must be a little more cautious about snarky comments. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to avoid them altogether, I just want to be sure I make myself reasonably clear.

A couple days ago I wrote about Mark Jones' experiment with adding video to his blog. I concluded with the kinda dismissive swipe, "But I'm not sure if just pointing to a video clip in your weblog makes it a 'video blog'."

Fortunately, Mark didn't take it too personally and responded with a further explanation of his thoughts on video.

Mark, very reasonably, pointed out that so far he's still just learning how to use the tools. That's fair, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of Mark's experiment.

As I said, I've been thinking about audio/video blogging too.

One of the things that make blogging distinctive is that a posting includes links to other web resources -- blogs and other kinds of content. An audio/video blog posting should include links too.

I envision an a/v blog posting that has clickable links. Quicktime, Real Audio and Flash seem to support the ability to have a click on the "screen" which jumps to a URL. I'm gonna check to see if that URL can change during the playing of a clip. That would make for an interesting a/v blog entry.

"Click here to view the site I'm talking about now."

Mark points to Jon Udall who's pulled together some cool info about creating links that not only jump to a video clip, but automatically fast-forward into the clip to the relevant section. Very nice.

More to come...

Posted by jghiii at 01:27 PM | Comments (1)

Size matters?

[UPDATE: I've increased the experimental font-size from 12 pixels to 13.]

I've made a change to this site that may be an improvement, but is, strictly speaking, a violation of what I consider good site design: I've set the font-size to a specific value. 12 pixels.

As a rule, I believe that font-size should be left to the discretion of the individual reader's browser settings. But I've seen some sites that use this size, and I wanted to try it out.

You can help. Please leave a comment and tell me if this size is OK, or NOT OK. I may leave it this size, or I may change it back later.

Posted by jghiii at 01:10 PM | Comments (0)

Double Header

Gordon Edes, Boston Globe:

Terry Francona is poised to become the 44th manager of the Red Sox, pending the outcome of a physical this morning, even as Boston general manager Theo Epstein is planning to fly to Arizona tonight to persuade Diamondbacks ace Curt Schilling to waive his no-trade clause, triggering a deal that would make the 37-year-old righthander a member of the Sox. Francona's hiring is expected to be announced next Tuesday.

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

November 24, 2003

Double Play

Yahoo! News:

Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and soccer star Mia Hamm were married in a private ceremony.

"It was a really nice wedding, on a hill with an ocean view," said Garciaparra's aunt, Lulu Garciaparra, of Fontana, Calif. "It was a very beautiful day."

She said a few hundred guests attended the wedding Saturday in this coastal California community.

Posted by jghiii at 10:01 PM | Comments (2)

Trade Talks


Curt Schilling is headed to the Boston Red Sox — if he waives his no-trade clause with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The all-star pitcher announced the tentative trade Monday to reporters outside his house as his children and dogs played in the yard.

Posted by jghiii at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

Missed the cut

President Clinton's 21 Most Favorite books. USAToday:

Clinton's presidential library is to open next November on the south bank of the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock. A nearby office building, the Cox Creative Center, has hosted a number of preview exhibits, and on Monday opens America Presents: A Collection of Books and Gifts of the Clinton Presidency.

Mine's not on the list -- bummer.

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

Tight Fast Code

Here's a very revealing, and if you're a webdeveloper, very readable, explanation of how cleaning up your site's HTML, and using CSS, will make your pages perform better, and possibly reduce your hosting costs.

A List Apart:

In this article we will show how an engine overhaul could take place by converting a single Slashdot page from their current HTML 3.2 code, nested tables, and invalid, nonsemantic markup, to a finely tuned web standards racing engine. The goal is not to change Slashdot, but to rebuild it with web standards and show the benefits of the transition.

Posted by jghiii at 07:39 PM


J-walk is visiting San Diego and made this cool panorama of the city skyline.

Posted by jghiii at 03:29 PM | Comments (0)

I'm hip. I'm cool!

Test your Digital IQ. I scored 154.

[Thanks j-walk]

Posted by jghiii at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

Answer the phone "Most U.S. cell phone users now can switch to a new wireless service without losing their telephone number..."

I guess this is just yet another example of how I'm different than everyone else, cause I have no desire to keep my phone number. As a matter of fact, changing numbers every now and then seems, to me, like a good thing.

The other cellphone thing I don't understand, is these "walkie-talkie" phones. The cell companies pitch them as making it easier to reach someone, but if someone doesn't want to talk, then how does this walkie-talkie thing keep them from turning off the phone, or ignoring it, just like they'd do with a "regular" phone.

Plus -- and this is huge -- the walkie-talkie phones are an amplified example of all that's annoying about cellphone use in public places. I get to hear the guy standing there yelling into the phone, I hear the person on the other end too, AND I hear that obnoxious signature beep-beep.

But people must be attracted to this feature cause so many phone companies are using it in their ads, but I just don't get it.

Posted by jghiii at 12:22 PM

Hitter's count

As a lover of the rich history, and great traditions, of baseball, I feel like I ought to be suspicious of this stuff. But I'm not. It fascinates me. Boston Globe:

For every pitch in every game of every season -- there were 702,293 thrown in the majors in 2003 -- batteries of computer inputters log every aspect of the action, from the ball's path toward the plate to its eventual landing spot, with spectacular precision...

Posted by jghiii at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2003

Celebrity visitor

I was pleasantly surprised the see a comment left here by A-List blogger, Halley Suitt. I've been reading Halley for a long time, you should too.

She commiserated with my longing for Fry's, and gives me a recommendation for a Sushi place near Cambridge.

She also sweetly asks to be added to my blogroll. I should have added her long ago, and now, well, I've never been able to say no to a smart, pretty girl.

Posted by jghiii at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

Like Fry's

A couple of years ago, soon after returning to New England, I went through Fry's Electronics withdrawl. I never did find a store that approached the geeky nerd total immersion of the Bay Area's Fry's stores.

Yesterday I visited the MicroCenter store on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, MA, and it is by far the closest thing I've found. They don't have the shelves and bins of raw materials like integrated circuits, cables, and milky-way bars. But they do have the richest selection of computer stuff that I've found east of the mississippi.

And they even have a decent Macintosh department.

Posted by jghiii at 01:11 PM | Comments (1)


Wandering around Cambridge yesterday, I saw one of these cars parked near Mem Drive. I wonder if this works?

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

November 22, 2003

Too beautiful

Gorgeous day here in Greater Boston. Too nice to sit at the keyboard. I'm headed out to see what there is to see.

Posted by jghiii at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

Video Blog?

Mark Jones of INFOWORLD TECH WATCH has posted a video clip which he calls a "Video Blog Experiment"

As I've said, I think that including audio and video in blogs is a really interesting idea. But I'm not sure if just pointing to a video clip in your weblog makes it a "video blog".

Regardless, it's another interesting venture into ways to add expanded media to the blogosphere.

[UPDATE: I've continued this discussion here.]

Posted by jghiii at 10:23 AM | Comments (2)

November 21, 2003

Coinstar Rant

I was walking by the supermarket today, and through the window I could see the big green CoinStar coin counting machine. You see these in a lot of grocery stores and they are a sliding scale ripoff.

Like a lot of people I accumulate many coins. I empty my pockets into a bowl on my dresser. Every couple of years I'll spend an evening sorting and rolling them so I can take them to the bank. The idea of pouring them into a machine is very appealling. But it's expensive.

CoinStar charges 8.9% of the value of the coins counted. That means they charge 9 cents to count 100 pennies. That's not too bad. I'd pay that.

But to count 100 quarters they charge $2.23. Now explain to me how counting quarters is 25 times more expensive, more valuable, than counting pennies?

It's a machine. They're all just coins. A little bit different sized, but really all the same, as far as the machine is concerned.

What they really should do is charge not a percentage, but by the coin. 9 cents per 100 coins counted, regardless of the denomination. That would be good. That would be more fair. I'd use that service.

Posted by jghiii at 09:45 PM | Comments (6)

Presidents redux

A year and a half ago, in April 2002 I started a project to read a biography of each of the US Presidents, in the order of their terms.

I read Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and I ended up skimming Madison and Monroe, before I kinda ran out of steam. Part of the problem was that the Madison and Monroe books were not very well written, and I eventually put them down.

I'm gonna try and pick it up again. Today I got out of the library James Madison by Garry Wills, Times Books American Presidents Series, 2002.

I'll let you know how it comes out.

Posted by jghiii at 06:12 PM | Comments (1)

Incomplete Friday Five.

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.
find a job, finish work due on MMG,

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.
cindy h, emily w, ben c, elizabeth f,

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.
play piano, fly gliders,

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).
buy a house, buy a car, invest for security,

5. List five things you do that help you relax.
watch GH, walk, surf web, kayak,

[Friday Five]

Posted by jghiii at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2003

It's the motion of the train

I'm having dinner with SteveG tonight. We're meeting near Forest Hills in Boston. I'm taking the subway -- "the T" -- there from where I'm staying in Melrose.

I wanted to figure out how long the train ride would be, and I discovered the the T has a cool tool on their website that will tell you the travel time between any two points in their system.

I told the site that I needed to be at Forest Hills by 5pm. It replied that if I depart Oak Grove at 4:24 I will arrive at Forest Hills at 4:57. They predict this to the minute!

I'll report back later on how accurate this turns out to be.

BTW, after dinner we're headed to the Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group. Digital Video Editing.

Posted by jghiii at 12:52 PM | Comments (1)

Let us pray.

The Seventh Commandment of Diners: VII. Thou Shalt Sit At The Counter

Posted by jghiii at 12:28 PM | Comments (2)

New kid on the block

The Prescott Park Arts Festival (where I'm a member of the board) has chosen a new leader. Portsmouth (NH) Herald:

For over 20 years, Kate Leith has loved seeing shows put on by the Prescott Park Arts Festival.

However, these days, Leith is not just watching from the audience; she’s running the show as the interim director of the Prescott Park Arts Festival.

Leith became interim director Nov. 11 after former Director George Hosker resigned after 10 years.

Posted by jghiii at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2003

Why do good companies do despicable things?

I love my TiVo, but this just really annoys and disappoints me.

For the past few days the un-requested marketing blurb that they've downloaded onto my system has been labelled: "Watch the Rolling Stones perform in concert."

I usually ignore these. I don't like to reward this invasive use of my property, so I almost never watch them. But this one was too alluring. So I clicked to see the Rolling Stones.

I was presented with a banner ad saying, "Rolling Stones Four Flicks Best Buy", and the single choice of, "Get more info from Best Buy."

I clicked this choice and was now presented with these three choices. "Sign up here to receive marketing communications from Best Buy. #1 No thanks. #2 Sure, sign me up! and #3 Read the TiVo Privacy Policy."

I just wanted to see the Rolling Stones that they offered me, so I clicked "No thanks". But that took me back to the first screen, "Four Flicks... Get more info..."

The privacy policy says that I'd be giving TiVo permission to share my contact info with Best Buy. I don't want to do that.

So apparently, in addition to hijacking my personal property to download and store unwanted material, they won't even let me look at it unless I give them permission to further invade my private life.

I really love my TiVo, but this is just so disappointing. I wish they would behave better.

Posted by jghiii at 07:49 PM | Comments (2)

Dave's new idea

Dave Winer has made a conceptual change to the way his blog is presented. The front page now only shows his postings from today. Past days are accessible from the calendar control in the right column.

Apparently there is also a much richer system for viewing past entries by category, I haven't really explored that yet.

For me, the big change here is that to read earlier days, I must remember to click on the calendar and view them individually. I used to be able -- and on most blogs still can -- start at the top and read downward until I see an item I already read.

Dave's experimenting with new forms. I applaud that. I'm not sure this one is gonna work, but he's been right before, so I'll give it a try.

I know I can click on the "month" link at the very top of the page, and read it the old way, but I still want to see if Dave' on to something.

One immediate request I have is for Dave to add a link at the bottom of each day, that takes me to the previous day. I'm lazy and would like to not have to scroll back to the top and figure out which day to click next.

Posted by jghiii at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2003

Big Dig good!

Yesterday I went for a drive through Boston. I've seen the progress of the Big Dig from many angles over the years, but I haven't driven the "central artery" route since they've started to open some of the new road.

I know that the Big Dig has been a huge, expensive, controversial deal here in Massachusetts, for well over a decade. But I've always said that it's gonna be a wonderful thing for the area. I compare it to the removal of a very similar elevated highway in San Francisco, which was taken down after the 1989 earthquake. No one had realized what a barrier this road had been, but since it is gone the area has opened up, becoming a beautiful public park and connecting the downtown to the bayfront in a bright, exciting way. I think the same thing will happen here.

Southbound it was kinda exciting to see that they are well along on removing the northbound side of the old elevated highway.

For those unfamiliar, I'm driving southbound near Faneuil Hall Marketplace. There used to a full three lane highway to the left of the one I'm driving on. [Pics taken through my windshield, while also driving, on a gray, rainy afternoon.]

Northbound, the road still enters a tunnel near South Station, but now it remains underground all the way through town until it emerges here near North Station, rising up onto the new Z bridge.

Very cool.

Posted by jghiii at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

Doc's friend

Doc Searls writes about a dear friend who's going through hard times:

David used to crack everybody up with a perfect imitation of... (gulp) me . Before then I never had any idea that I was imitable, or that I had a walk others called a "waddle."

The Templeton Brothers were terrific company. I loved them both. Still do. However, as too often happens, geography gets in the way, and life goes on with less and less contact, until...

Posted by jghiii at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

Stand up for the Internet

Dave Winer:

I'd like to call your attention to an idea for the campaigns of leading Presidential candidates. I'd like them to stand up for the Internet, to say that, if elected, they will do everything they can to protect it from control of the big media companies.

Posted by jghiii at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2003

Lake Level, sorta

I've been away from the lake a lot lately. So the most recent measurement I have is from last Friday. At the rate it's been falling I bet it's much lower than this by now.

I'm probably gonna continue be away a lot from now on. If any of you, who are at the lake regularly, would like to help out with the measuring, please email me.

Posted by jghiii at 12:04 PM | Comments (1)

Change is good

Big changes are afoot here at Gone East. I'll say more in a couple of days. But for now, I'm a little distracted, and postings may be light till then.

Posted by jghiii at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

He said what?

George Bush Sr, wrote in a 1998 Time Magazine piece on why he didn't try to remove Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War: "We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq."

Michael Fraase tells how The Memory Hole is reporting that Time Magazine has recently removed this article from their online archives.

Posted by jghiii at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2003

RIAA About the send more letters?

The Recording Industry Association of America announced today it would be expanding its crackdown on copyright infringement by suing family members, hitchhikers and carpoolers.

Lawyers for the RIAA maintain that the radio in each car was never meant to be listened to by anyone else except the original owner of the vehicle.

Note: this is probably a joke.

[Thanks j-walk]

Posted by jghiii at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

Me too

Eric Raymond pointed me to this test of what author would have written you as a character. I came out as a Heinlein character, which is great by me. I've always been a huge fan. I am a little suspicious though, since Raymond came out as a Heinlein character too. I wonder if it skews toward RH?

"Robert Heinlein wrote you - you stranger in a strange land, you."

Which Author's Fiction are You? brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by jghiii at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2003


Doc Searls got stopped for speeding in King City. That stretch of Calif. 101 is notorious for speeding tix. You've been on the long drive, for a long time, and you're so road-comfortable that the high speed isn't significant. But for the area government it's a revenue source.

Posted by jghiii at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

Don't ask, Don't tell

This is more or less what I've always thought:

Eve and Adam

One day in the Garden of Eden, Eve calls out to God...  "Lord, I have a problem!" 

"What's the problem, Eve?" 

"Lord, I know you've created me and have provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals, and that hilarious comedic snake, but I'm just not happy." 

"Why is that, Eve?" came the reply from above. 

"Lord, I am lonely. And I'm sick to death of apples." 

"Well, Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you." 

"What's a 'man,' Lord?" 

"This man will be a flawed creature, with many bad traits.  He'll lie, cheat, and be vainglorious; all in all, he'll give you a hard time. But, he'll be bigger, faster, and will like to hunt and kill things.  He will look silly aroused, but since you've being complaining, I'll create him in such a way that he will satisfy your... ah, physical needs.  He'll be witless and will revel in childish things like fighting and kicking a ball about.  He won't be too smart, so he'll also need your advise to think properly." 

"Sounds great," says Eve, with an ironically raised eyebrow. "What's the catch, Lord?" 

"Yeah, well.... you can have him on one condition." 

"What's that, Lord?" 

"As I said, he'll be proud, arrogant, and self-admiring...So you'll have to let him believe that I made him first...So, just remember... it's our secret... woman-to-woman!"

[Thanks Katiefinger]

Posted by jghiii at 07:07 AM | Comments (1)

November 14, 2003

Friday Five

It's been awhile since I did one of these. This one looks a little difficult.

1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space.

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer.
self, ambitious.

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime.
outdoors, scenic, not cold.

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day.
slow-starting, hopeful, curious, unfinished.

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life.
flexible, gregarious, respected, productive, chocolaty.

Posted by jghiii at 04:53 PM | Comments (1)

Lights Camera Action

Dan Gillmor wants to experiment with adding video to his weblog. Awhile ago he also expressed interest in doing more audio.

I think both these are really interesting ideas. I hope to try some audio soon.

Courtesy of Gillmor, here is Kevin Marks' site where he's embedded a video clip of a science experiment. My only problem with this is, putting the video right on the page, and having it preload even if it doesn't get viewed, puts a really big burden on your reader's internet connection, and on your web server. A better way would be to have a preview frame on the page with a link to a viewer page for those who want to look at it.

Posted by jghiii at 11:30 AM | Comments (1)


Today is my nephew/godson North's birthday.

His full name is North Eric Gordon Hodgson. He's named after his uncle Gordon (that's me), his uncle Eric (that's Scott), and a direction.

Sometimes I call him "Little G".

He likes tools, watching the ceiling fan, and he hates to wear shoes. He's pretty adorable.

If his parents approve, I'll post a pic of him here later.

Happy Birthday North.

Posted by jghiii at 11:12 AM | Comments (5)

Two feet

My brother, who ran away to live in "civilized" Vermont, reports that last night's forecast of ten inches of snow was off by a little. They woke up this morning to two feet, and more still falling.

Time to head south for the winter.

Posted by jghiii at 10:04 AM | Comments (1)

November 13, 2003

I overpack too.

Steve's Mom's blog:

This happens every fall in preperation of my trip to Florida. I took ou t all my luggage and garment bags and now I have to fill them. Every year it gets harder and harder. Every year I swear I will take less but then I see that I have room in the suitcases so I might as well take more just in case I need it. I am down there for four months and it could be cold, it could be hot, it could rain and it could be humid!

I'm hoping Mildred continues to blog from Florida. We can use all the warmth we can get up here.

Posted by jghiii at 09:05 PM | Comments (1)

Everyone is talking about blog birthdays.

It seems alot of blogs have celebrated their "birthdays" recently. A lot of three year olds it seems.

It got me to thinking about when I got started blogging.

First let me admit that I really have only been blogging on a regular basis for less than a year. So in one, very real sense, I'm still very new at this.

But if you dig down, to when I first wrote a blog post, you'll find September 25, 2000. Here's a link to my earliest postings.

[Look close at the very first posting and you'll see the origin of the name of this blog.]

Posted by jghiii at 08:37 PM | Comments (0)

That's a first

Last evening, for the first time ever, I had occasion to speak out loud the name of the A-list blog "boingboing".

And I realized that I'm not sure how it's pronounced.

Is it BOH-ing BOH-ing? or BOY-ng BOY-ng? or something else?

Maybe it's pronounced that same as the name of the artist formally known as Prince.

Posted by jghiii at 01:32 PM | Comments (1)


While visiting Boston, I've been staying with my parents. I'm ing in a bedroom set-up for their grand-daughters. The bed has a "New Kids on the Block" comforter, and pictures of scary, teen idols on the walls.

This would explain the bad dreams.

Posted by jghiii at 12:48 PM | Comments (4)

Small world

Two of the regular comments-posters here at Gone East are Sherman, my friend in Berkeley who's started a series of comments-posts on growing up in Melrose, and SteveG, my old friend from BCS*Mac who writes the great blog Off on a Tangent.

Other than possibly crossing paths briefly in the BCS office way back when, Sherm and Steve have never met. But last night Steve told me something about himself that I never knew.

First about Sherm. Back in the late 70s and 80s Sherm hung out in the Amherst Massachusetts area. One of the, oh-so-Sherm things he did was to host a radio show, late at night, on the Amherst college station, WAMH. The show was called "the way back machine with mr peadoby's boy sherman".

He played all sorts of music, new, old, funky, and just plain strange. Many of the shows had a personal theme, something that was related to the goings on in Sherm's life. I'm pleased to say that one theme show was about me. Sherm did his best to cast equal portions of ridicule and his unique style of love, on many of the best-left-unexplored aspects of my young adulthood. I have cassettes of that show somewhere. Must remember to burn them.

Now for the small world part.

Last night I discovered that Steve G ALSO hosted a radio show on that same station, WAMH. His show was during the late 80s, and was called "The Friday Morning Breakdown"

Sherm and Steve will soon compare notes and we'll see what develops.

Pretty cool, I think.

[I just discovered that you can listen to WAMH online. It's an mp3 stream (the best kind). Too bad they don't have an archive of the shows from the 80s.]

Posted by jghiii at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

Beer good!

Here's a pic of Steve Garfield, author of the Off on a Tangent blog, and me, at the Boston Mac Group meeting last night at MIT. We had a great time at the meeting, and also before hand at John Harvard's Brew House in Harvard Square.

Posted by jghiii at 08:40 AM | Comments (4)

November 12, 2003

Melrose, est. 1629

Wandering around in downtown Melrose, Massachusetts, my home town.

Sherman will probably have some strong words about this town where we went to high school together.

A couple of things that seemed notable from my walk down Main Street.

  • My old Jr. High School is now an apartment building. I knew it was converted to residential years ago, but I thought it was condos, not rentals. Why does that seem to make a difference?

  • There's a Starbucks in the middle of town. And it has a WiFi hotspot.

  • There are a lot more restaurants than when I was a kid. Some actually look edible.

  • There are two psychic readings places on the main street. Go figure.

Melrose has always been to me the ultimate "bedroom community" The ratio of people who live here and work in other towns, vs. live elsewhere and work here, must be 100-1.

A nice place to visit...

Posted by jghiii at 01:00 PM | Comments (4)

I've seen some of the movies

The Guardian has published a list of the all-time top 100 novels. I was afraid to look at the list and see that I hadn't read any of them. But I've done a few. Not so bad. And there're a few there that I'm now inspired to track down.

Hey, I even used #61 in a pun in this weblog a few days ago. Nobody seemed to notice.

[Thanks Halley]

Posted by jghiii at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

Get used to it

The Onion: "In a turn of events the 30-year-old characterized as "horrifying," Kevin Widmar announced Tuesday that his mother Lillian has discovered his weblog."

[Thanks Ed Cone]

Posted by jghiii at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2003

To the moon

Art Carney has died. AP via Yahoo!

Posted by jghiii at 10:00 PM | Comments (3)

Pick a penny, any penny

12 things that look like pennies (the infamous U.S. one cent piece) can you pick the one that is real?

I picked the right one, then talked myself out of it and clicked on the wrong one.

[Thanks j-walk]

Posted by jghiii at 10:01 AM | Comments (6)

Ummm, OK...

I stared at this one for a long time to see if it appeared to be a hoax. But it seems to be authentic.

BBC website:

Saudi Arabia has reportedly imposed strict border checks to enforce a ban on the export of sand.

There are fears that the growing demands of the construction industry could lead to a shortage in the desert kingdom.

Posted by jghiii at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2003

Tekka Maki, Maguro, Hamachi

A couple of times in the past few days I've picked up one of those ready-made packages of California Rolls from the supermarket. They're nowhere near as good as a fresh-off-the-cutting-board, sushi bar roll. But they weren't bad. It makes me realize that I want sushi, real sushi, soon.

Maybe that can be tomorrow's lunch.

But I have no idea where to get reliable sushi in the Harvard Sq area. Any suggestions?

Posted by jghiii at 10:26 PM | Comments (3)

Bright lights, big city

I've arrived down here in Greater Boston for a few days.

I made a quick trip into Cambridge this evening. I wanted to visit the Apple Store in Cambridge, and do some other shopping.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a newcomer to urban life. I lived here in Cambridge for many years in the late 70s and 80s. And I lived for 12 years in Silicon Valley, which has pretty good traffic congestion of its own.

But in spite of these experiences from my distant past, I have now lived in a much less congested area for three years, and it lulls you into a false sense of what's normal.

So one of my first impressions tonite, as I drove into town from the 'burbs, is that there sure are alot of cars. And they're all so close together. And, they tend to swerve and dart out in unpredictable ways. You gotta keep an eye on them, all the time.

The Apple Store is in a mall called CambridgeSide. It's a bright and shiny mall with three levels, lots of interesting stores, and a surprisingly big crowd for a Monday night.

I don't think this mall existed when I lived here in the late 80s. It used to be Lechmere, I think.

Posted by jghiii at 09:18 PM | Comments (1)

Itchy Feet

I'm heading off for a few days down in the Boston area. Visit some friends, go to bmac, do some meetings, harvard sq, kellys, like that.

I'll post next from there. Maybe I can make it into Boston Common again.

Posted by jghiii at 10:57 AM | Comments (6)

The man who should be president

In a speech over the weekend, Al Gore, the man who won the 2004 Presidential Election's popular vote, said that the Bush administration has gone too far in its war on terrorism.

President Bush has stretched this new practical imperative way beyond what is healthy for our democracy... They have taken us much farther down the road toward an intrusive, Big Brother-style government -- toward the dangers prophesied by George Orwell in his book '1984' -- than anyone ever thought would be possible in the United States of America.
[Read the whole story from]

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

Good morning

Chilly morning here in S NH. The overnite low was in the lower 20s last night. Just about the same as yesterday morning. The difference today is that we awoke to a thin crust of ice around the edge of the lake. That's the first ice I've seen on the lake this season.

Here's this week's lake level chart. The drawdown continues at about the same rate as last year, although the level is about 4 inches higher than this date last year.

Posted by jghiii at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2003

Shaker and Mover

The NewRepublic Online:

Joe Trippi has been called a lot of things during the eight months he has been managing Howard Dean's campaign for president. To rival campaigns, he's an overgrown computer geek, playing around on blogs and chat rooms until all hours of the night. To the most die-hard Dean supporters, he's an almost messianic figure, the man who helped catapult an obscure Vermont governor to the front of the Democratic pack. And, to the press, Trippi is the kind of uninhibited quote machine most reporters drool over--tossing off quips that are part campaign insider, part pundit, and part pure bravado.

[Via Halley]

Posted by jghiii at 01:10 PM | Comments (0)

And I was so proud of my Ronald rockin' pic

A few days back I reported that McDonalds was about to start giving out iTunes song downloads. Now MickyDees says, not so fast. Dow Jones News via Yahoo!:

McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD - News) characterized a published report that it plans a massive digital song giveaway promotion as "pure speculation."

Posted by jghiii at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)

It feels so good when I stop

The dullest blog in the world:

I depressed the switch on the side of the kettle. The water began to heat up until it reached boiling point. The kettle then turned itself off, requiring me to take no further action.

[Thanks j-walk]

Posted by jghiii at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

Yup, it gets cold this time of year.

Dave seems to be stressing about the onset of winter. (More than me, even!)

Sunday night forecast: 'Clear and cold. Lows 18 to 23.'

On Friday he had written:

Weather forecast: "Lows in the upper 20s." Brrr.

Poor Dave, if he keeps this up he's gonna have a long winter.

Posted by jghiii at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

Add Kahlua to mine please

Another link via SteveG. New studies have decided that a cup of hot chocolate is quite healthful.

[BTW, Happy Birthday to SteveG who is three years old today... oh, well, I guess it's his weblog that's three. Good work Steve.]

Posted by jghiii at 10:27 AM | Comments (1)

All-Star Survivor

Spoilers in this link! Here's an article from a rumor site about the contestants in the next season of Survivor, which is made up of the All-Stars from past seasons.

[Via SteveG]

Posted by jghiii at 10:13 AM | Comments (9)

Naval Sky Info

In honor of last night's lunar eclipse -- which was really pretty cool -- Cindy, my friend the Physicist Mom, sent along this link to the Naval Observatory's set of online caculators. I particularly like "Day and Night Across the Earth".

[Moon pic thanks to]

Posted by jghiii at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2003

2004 Primary Season

Handy list of the dates for all the 2004 Presidential Primaries.

Posted by jghiii at 06:02 PM | Comments (0)

Road Trip!

I've always wanted to visit Machu Pichu. Reuters, via "An international team of explorers have found an Incan city lost for centuries in the Peruvian jungles despite being within sight of the key religious center at Machu Picchu."

Posted by jghiii at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

Jessica Lynch speaks out

NYT: "In her first public statements since her rescue in Iraq, Jessica Lynch criticized the military for exaggerating accounts of her rescue and re-casting her ordeal as a patriotic fable."

Posted by jghiii at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)



Although often only an afterthought for visitors to its fancier cousin across the bay, for those with a hankering for fabulous food, a passion for politics, or an independent bookstore addiction, Berkeley should be a target destination.

PS. Berkeley is where Sherman, my friend the aged hippy, lives.

Posted by jghiii at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2003

Survivor Pearl Islands

Spoilers in "Continue reading..." Also in comments probably.

They've been doing some unusual things that past couple weeks. Giving the losers a chance to get back in, voting out two in one week. Very interesting stuff. Time will tell how this affects the overall game.

Last night though, one thing is clear to me: Burton, giving the immunity to Rupert, was genius. Rupert, Burton and Lil now form a very strong alliance. And the other Morgans will probably keep voting with them, if they're smart.

It' seems pretty clear to me that over the next few weeks the Morgans, with Lil, will pick off the remaining Drakes. I wonder if Mark/Jeff will give us any more surprises in order to defuse that?

Posted by jghiii at 12:18 PM | Comments (9)

Not so much

Wired News:

The Matrix Revolutions is no masterpiece. It lacks the depth of the first movie and undoes the logic of the second film. Still, if all that doesn't trouble you, having your senses bombarded by special effects and action sequences isn't a bad way to spend a couple of hours.

Posted by jghiii at 12:11 PM | Comments (1)

I hate it when a plan falls apart.

Steve is correct in comments.

I misread the US mint webpage about the new nickel. I thought that the side-by-side images of the new nickel were the front and back. I thought it said that Jefferson's face would be gone until 2006. That's not what it said.

So all my hopeful, conspiracy theory stuff about phasing (facing) out Thom and Abe's faces is not true.

I stand by my statements about losing the two 1s though.

Posted by jghiii at 11:51 AM | Comments (2)

My Two Cents worth...

SteveG is very concerned about the new nickel. "Why does the US Mint keep making coins without numbers on them? The new nickel has evocative images on them. People, please! Put numbers on the money. Makes sense to me."

What he means, of course, is putting the numeral 5 on the coin. It already says "Five cents" on both sides. That seems good enough to me.

The real story here, I think, is the removal of Jefferson's image from the coin. I see this as a step, preparing the way toward, trying to abolish the US One Cent piece altogether.

[UPDATE: I had this thing, about them removing Jefferson's face, wrong. See the next post here.]

The big stumbling block to removing totally obsolete penny is the State of Illinois Lincoln lobby. By removing Jefferson, the mint weakens Illinois' demand to preserve the Lincoln coin.

I'm in favor of abolishing both the penny and the paper One Dollar bill.

Posted by jghiii at 11:14 AM | Comments (1)

November 06, 2003


Yogi Berra said, "In theory, there should be no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is."

[Thanks to this almost totally unrelated site.]

Posted by jghiii at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

Did somebody say iTunes?

New York Post: McDonald's plans to give away up to 1 billion [Apple Music Store] songs in a marketing campaign, according to sources familiar with the matter. ... A spokesperson for Apple declined comment, and a representative of McDonald's was unavailable for comment.

Posted by jghiii at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)

Less Dreary

I need to try that more often. No sooner did I make that previous posting, than the sun started to come out. Hope I haven't jinxed it.

Posted by jghiii at 08:34 AM | Comments (3)


This is the kind of weather that I think my California friends really can't imagine. It's been five of six days now since we've seen the sun. It's rained many of those days, but otherwise it's just been gray. Depressing.

Posted by jghiii at 07:49 AM | Comments (3)

November 05, 2003

SPAM sucks

Like most everyone, I get lots of SPAM. As a matter of principal I've never used any of the anti-SPAM tools, cause I don't like the idea of someone else deciding what mail I get to see or not.

Usually I just delete SPAMs and move on, but last spring I kept all of it for a few weeks, and did an analysis. At that time I was getting an average of 68 SPAMS a day.

I just completed another analysis, and now, barely 6 months later, I'm getting an average of 145 each day.

I've never liked the idea of "blacklist", or even "whitelist", SPAM filtering systems. But the new Bayesian systems look pretty good. I may install one of them soon. We'll see.

Posted by jghiii at 11:03 AM | Comments (1)

Look out below!

I've checked, and double-checked, and this seems to be accurate.

I won't clutter up the place with another copy of the monday chart, but the lake level here at Pawtuckaway dropped 4.3 inches in the past 24 hrs. The biggest one-day drop all last fall was 2.5 inches.

This year it's down 9.7 inches in the past 5 days.

Posted by jghiii at 09:38 AM | Comments (2)

Is it soup yet?

Sherman, our friend who refuses to start his own weblog, has set the new standard for how closely a comment needs to be related to the original post.

Posted by jghiii at 07:12 AM | Comments (2)

It's a Boy

Dave Letterman and Regina Lasko's baby was born Monday night. I think that's wonderful. "Harry", named after Dave's dad. I wish all three the best.

You go Dave! This gives all us other childless, old guys some hope.

Posted by jghiii at 06:45 AM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2003


The Joy of Soup: "sit down, and have a nice bowl of soup"

[Thanks j-walk]

Posted by jghiii at 09:32 PM | Comments (2)

The good old days

Way back when Switcher was considered a major breakthrough to be able to have more than one program open at a time on the Mac.

Also, that pic of Andy H was considered hi-rez and also very cool.

We've come a long way baby.

Posted by jghiii at 06:27 PM | Comments (1)

One more time

They are saying that tonight is another chance for northern lights here in southern nh. Too bad the sky is overcast. <frown>

[Thanks Doc Searls]

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

Al Franken visits the DNC website

Al Franken makes a "guest posting" on the Democratic Party website:

This president and this administration is the most far right-wing group we've seen in the White House in the history of this country. During the 2000 campaign, when Bush said he was against "nation building," I didn't realize he meant only our nation. No Child Left Behind is the most ironically named piece of legislation since the 1942 Japanese Family Leave Act.

Posted by jghiii at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

Business advice

Here's an interesting article on starting your own business. There seems to be some good stuff here. But on the other hand, the section on marketing is only one paragraph long, and all it mentions is publicity. This is a very common, and frustrating, mistake.

Kevin Potts, A List Apart: "This article offers real-world advice from the trenches of a small start-up..."

Posted by jghiii at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2003


I'm pretty stingy when it comes to adding links to my blogroll (the list of interesting links over in the right hand column), but I added a new one today. NH Seacoast Bloggers is a collection of recent posts from weblogs in the area. Check it out.

Posted by jghiii at 08:14 PM | Comments (1)

26 Things

As if trying to write 50,000 words in a month isn't enough of a challenge... this looks interesting too. And there doesn't seem to be any deadline.

[Thanks Mama's Musings blog]

Posted by jghiii at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

Catcher in the Rye Bread

I have a Park meeting this morning at Me & Ollies in Exeter. They have great fresh baked breads and muffins and stuff there.

Exeter, as the tuned-in know, is the home of Philips Exeter Academy, a very spiffy prep school. Didn't somebody important go to school there?

Posted by jghiii at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

New masthead pic

I've taken down the halloween masthead, and reverted to the previous version. The lake doesn't actually look like that right now. I'll make a more seasonally-accurate one and post it soon.

Posted by jghiii at 09:37 AM

Weekly Lake Level Chart

Posted by jghiii at 09:29 AM | Comments (4)

November 02, 2003

No Macs...

...but interesting anyway. My life in computers. I may put together a similar list.

[Thanks j-walk]

Posted by jghiii at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)


Sun Tzu's The Art of War

Posted by jghiii at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2003


Today has been one of those awesome indian summer days in New England. Hi temp 75, bright sun, clear skys.

Lots of motorcyclists out today. Canoe and kayakers too. Supposed to be nice tomorrow too, but 60 nice not 75 nice.

Posted by jghiii at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

And we're off!

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo. And as I mentioned a few days ago I'm gonna give it a try. I started writing this morning and I've done almost 600 words so far today.

If I manage to keep this up, each day I'll be posting the word count and the actual writing for the previous day. The actual words will be posted to a different place on this site so you can skip it if you're not interested (or if you're smart).

Posted by jghiii at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)