Sunday 28 March 2004

travelin’ with the team

USA Olympic womens softball team photo

On my flight up to Los Angeles I had the wonderful experience of meeting the entire USA Olympic Women’s softball team. No joke! What a great, energetic group – very outgoing. Other than the fact that they kicked Arizona’s ass 6-1 I could hang with these ladies and learn a little something about focus and team spirit.

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Tuesday 23 March 2004

grapefruit blossom time

picture of grapefruit blossom

There are few scents in this world that move me quite the way grapefruit blossoms do. For those who have never had the pleasure, grapefruit blossoms are heady, sensual, exceptionally fragrant and not overly sweet but definitely strong. As with all scents, we humans tend to attach memories and emotions to them – whatever I’ve attached to this scent must be pretty darned luscious.

I’m not alone in this, I know. A boyfriend of days (years?) past and I were once driving down a street in Tucson during this time of year after dark, and he suddenly stopped the truck right in the middle of the street so we could just sit there and breathe the scent.

This morning I heard the coyotes ululating in the river (and no Dunstan, there still ain’t no water in that there river) and by afternoon the air was thick with the scent of grapefruits.

And so we welcome spring to the Sonoran Desert.

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Saturday 20 March 2004

auto-close feature for weblog comment systems

Any thoughts on some solutions that would automatically close weblog comments in weblog software such as movable type after a custom-defined period of time?

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Thursday 18 March 2004

kissing: the perfect form of social networking

What’s friendlier than Friendster and livelier than Orkut? It’s a fabulous new social networking application, the Club. I’m not sure about the long-range possibilities for the application, but you can easily see the immediate benefits that having been kissed by MJ at Bruce Sterling’s fantastic SXSW closing party brought about.

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Tuesday 16 March 2004

at sxsw

The SXSW Interactive event has been chock-full of panels, parties, and most importantly – friends. I do not believe that I’ve ever been in the same city with so many people that I respect and adore and downright love. As with some friends, I wanted to keep a blogroll of all the great people I’m meeting but I just haven’t been able to keep up.

I’ll be writing some press coverage of the issues discussed in the panels I’ve attended and will keep you posted as to when and where those articles will be made available.

I do want to take a moment to acknowledge this year’s brightest star and a friend I’m so happy to have finally met, Dave Shea. Dave’s won two awards for his contributions to the progress of web design via the CSS Zen Garden including Best of Show. He also won an award at the Bloggies for best Canadian Blog, for a grand total of THREE (count ’em) awards!

Dave, congratulations to you and the many contributors to CSS Zen Garden. Your success is well-deserved for helping to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that web sites can be standards-compliant and absolutely innovative, progressive, and beautiful.

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Friday 12 March 2004

best rhymes so far

Though it only began a mere few days before, the “finish the rhyme” challenge has brought about some worthy responses. So far, my favorites are:

From Keith (most cynical)
To solve this problem
I just call her Molly
‘Cause spelling her last name blows.

From Bruce (funniest)
And the Dunstan howls:
“there’s not enough vowels!
And that’s the root cause of my woes!”

From Worfie (sweetest)
Avoid all the pain
And just call her Molly
The Babe with the beauty that flows.

From Drew (most non-sensical)
I’ve got to admit
The location it hits
Can send Z leaping over the holes.

And Karl M. gets an honorable mention not for his contribution, but for pre-disqualifying himself so I don’t have to.

I’ll continue to take “finish the rhyme” entries from anyone still interested for a couple of days while I’m traveling, then when comments are closed we’ll figure out which one wins the day.

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Thursday 11 March 2004

death by ipod

A Memphis woman, upset with the fact that her boyfriend erased 2,000 MP3 files from her iPod because she’d been file trading, bludgeoned him with said iPod until he died.

You can read coverage of this very not-real incident at Headlined News. Funny is as funny does and all that, but really, I know for a fact if any boyfriend of mine went into any of my files and erased them on purpose I would kill him, too.

Then I’d get a really good lawyer and try to figure out how to blame it on the RIAA.

Hat Tip: Christopher Schmitt.

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Wednesday 10 March 2004

sxsw roundup

YeeHA! SXSW Interactive begins this weekend. If you’re going to be there be sure to drop a comment or an email note and let’s see about getting together. Got a good story from past SXSW events? Love to read about it, too.

This will be my first SXSW, which is kind of funny when you think about it since I’ve worked for just about every conference out there related to web, software, and media. So I’m really looking forward to it.

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finish the rhyme

The inimitable Dunstan has started a little poem about my last name, but can’t seem to find quite the right last line.

Molly’s name
Is hard to spell
I never get it right
I think there’s a H
and I know there’s a G
But that Z always gives me a fright

Where does it live?
By whom does it sit?
Is there anyone out there who knows?
[your text goes here]

And yeah, please avoid the obvious 😉

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Monday 8 March 2004

sing soprano for me

Wait! First, from the ongoing to-whom-are-you-compared topic, here’s another one. Actress Aida Turturro, who plays the wonderfully disturbed sister of the Soprano’s main guy, Tony Soprano.

photographic comparison of molly and actress aida turturro

Now, about the Sopranos. I was disappointed with last night’s season premier of The Sopranos. I felt most every plot point was contrived. The pick-up scenes with Tony and Dr. Melfi were a total let-down, very forced. After years of building intensity between the two, it was just a bad crash. Can they save it?

The mainline for me (children cover your eyes and ears) was the snap from Loggia about getting out of prison after twenty years and finding it astonishing that it’s become conventional for women to shave their pussies.

Buscemi will be interesting to watch but I think the show hyped his role too much. The Sopranos has always been great because of chilling subtlety. Last night I instead was bashed over the head with details that in the past would have been described through interesting flashbacks, alluring innuendo and rich subtext.

Prior beyond compares include the almost infamous Edward Scissorhands look-alike and a few comparisons tossed at me by other people.

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Friday 5 March 2004

winamp5 and movable type

I’m working on a playlist that generates what I’m listening to in real time from winamp5 to my movable type weblog.

You’ll notice the playlist in the right hand column (of my home page if you’re reading the archive) tracks, underneath the poll.

So long as my local connection remains connected to the web, and so long as I do not disable any of the scripts, you will see what’s playing in my personal winamp queue at this moment.

I’ve grouped songs into sets of 10. The song at the top of the list is what’s playing right now, and I’ve listed recently played songs, too. A full carriage return indicates a new set or a pause in my connection.

I need help!

  • I’m using trackback pings to generate this list and I want to make each song entry linkable at my discretion and for my preferences: Amazon or other affiliate links; XFN relationships too, and with all that updated and managed by either PHP or Perl scripts. I want it to auto-update (right now it only updates upon refresh or new visit). I also want to make it more usable and accessible, such as emphasizing the band names and visually discerning the song that is currently being played. Oh, Oh! Archives would be cool too. Suggestions welcome.
  • Read my playlist and tell me if you like what you hear. Wouldn’t it be cool if I had a bookmarklet that enabled you to recommend what you like?

I’m using a combo platter of the great but poorly documented DoSomething plug-in for winamp2 (compliant with 5, note that winamp 3 scripts typically are not compliant with winamp 5+ versions), movable type tags, and JavaScript.

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image maps / not

Have you recently seen a useful image map?

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Thursday 4 March 2004

style master 3.5, learning web design, and a book signing

Here are a few web design goodies for today:

  • Style Master 3.5 from the good folks at westciv is now available. It comes chock full of features for the experienced and wizards and templates for the just-getting-started.
  • Digital Web Magazine has a feature, A Recipe for Learning Web Design, by D. Keith Robinson that helps newcomers to the field whip up a recipe for success.
  • Join Eric Meyer, Christopher Schmitt and yours truly on Monday, March 15 at 12:45 pm at SXSW, where we’ll be signing books and schmoozing about CSS, life, and web design.


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Wednesday 3 March 2004

banning books

The wonderful Ethan sent me pictures of a gnarly messy office. I looked around and realized, gee, these photos look a lot like my office.

The biggest problem in here is an overwhelming number of books. Many of them are still really good web-related books, and some of them are out-of-date books that I have back copies of.

I need some help figuring out how to ban this excess, because I am hoping to redecorate this office sometime in the next few months. Here’s what I’m thinking so far:

  1. Offer books from an inventory list which I’ll put together on a first-come first-serve basis for the cost of shipping to any interested buyers, with a two dollar handling fee per book to cover my time packaging ’em up and running them around. I’ll even sign ’em personally.
  2. Find a good use for out-of-date books, although I have no idea what this might be. I can’t give 20 copies of Mastering Adobe GoLive 4.0 away, for example. But I also can’t bring myself to destroy a book – any book. It’s just an abhorrent thought.

Would readers be interested in seeing the inventory list and helping me out with this? Any suggestions on what to do with those books that are too far out of date to be of use?

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how to love your critics in five easy steps

  1. Debate them and pretend to lose.
  2. Ignore them as if they didn’t exist at all.
  3. Respond when they finally stroke you again (and they will).
  4. Embrace them like a long lost friend.
  5. Go back to ignoring them again.

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