Around two hours to Super Bowl 34, and our setup looks happy…

The U.S. women’s national soccer team has ended a boycott that I didn’t even know was happening. Women’s sports get terrible media coverage in the U.S….

Icy day in Atlanta, but it looks like the storm has pretty much missed us. One thing I’ve (re)learned in all this is that weather forecasting is as much voodoo as it is anything else.

More fun with websearches: today I found “The Jason Levine Collection”, which appears to be an alternate me selling his entire Mad Magazine collection. (He should learn how to use Levels, or at a minimum, the contrast settings, in Photoshop.) There’s also a testimonial about a search engine submission service, a lost classmate of Lynbrook High School, a newly-engaged web designer in California, a guest bass player with the Jumping Buddha Ensemble, and a pediatric endosurgeon, none of whom are me.

Salon has a detailed look at the flap over and the judges’ financial disclosure forms. I think that this would have been a total non-issue if the forms had been posted by; now that the judges have blocked their release, though, it became an issue that they will probably regret having started.

This is an interesting development in web commerce — customer service agents who offer real-time help even without being asked. This will probably appeal to a number of people; for me, though, when you combine the fact that I shop on the web to be able to browse unhindered with the fact that I, as most New Yorkers, don’t like salespeople who hover, this isn’t all that attractive.

I tried to opt-out of my DoubleClick cookie today, but when I tried to click on the page that actually does the opting-out, I got “HTTP Error 401.3 Unauthorized: Unauthorized due to ACL on resource”. Great, these are the people who are going to be compiling oodles of information on everyone, and they can’t keep their webservers running correctly.

More pictures, this time mostly of our dinner (at a great Texas BBQ place) and adjournment home. Again, click on the pictures for more info on each.

phil and i too close

chris looking pensive

kathy sans bright light

shiner beer of the gods

kathy paging

phil blurry

self portrait

dave and spencer


Busy day today — lots of programming, a cool barcode app for our film workflow on the road.

We did manage to get more pictures online, this time of last night. They were taken with a Nikon CoolPix 950 that belongs to Gary, a Reuters friend of ours.

This is the master index for all of my trip pictures.

I took these mainly to test out the processors and scanners; I love the car, though (I’m a Volvo fanatic), and thought the pics looked great. Again, you can click on each picture if you want more information.

volvo c70

volvo c70

volvo c70

volvo c70

volvo c70

This is the first set of images out of our trip to the Super Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. They’re a combination of tests for the processor and little interesting things. You can click on the pictures for more information about them.

phil, chris, and the dome

phil from above

me setting up my dell

my laptop staging area

our very own harlan lookalike

our very own broken scitex eversmart

lab workspace in trailer

phil's tongue


Our processors are up and running here in Atlanta, so hopefully, we’ll have pictures galore today…

…and we do! There are two sets of pictures up now — our workspace and environs, and our kickin’ rental car. Now, I need to get pictures of us in front of the huge CNN logo at the CNN Center, and in the Dome.

This week’s Onion “What Do You Think?” is on the Confederate flag & South Carolina.

Interesting — the $500 check that Microsoft paid Michael Chaney for reregistering the domain name auctioned off today for $7,100. Chaney is donating the money to charity; the winner, John Corrigan, is going to reauction the check, again for charity.

Apparently, New York firefighters can’t deal with fictional representations of themselves.

APBNews has a site up with the rap sheets of the Super Bowl players who have had run-ins with the law. I don’t know if the number of people represented is high or not; I do know that if I had done what Leonard Little has, I would certainly be in prison right now.

Awesome — in their haste to try to keep the code to DeCSS secret, DVD industry lawyers publicized it in their court filings. (For now, the declaration is available here and here.)

If you really liked yesterday’s triple-exposure image of the recent lunar eclipse, the photographer, Stephen Barnes, is selling copies.

Today, I did a search on AltaVista for pages that link to my company home page (, and came up with some guy who put my page on his list of “Weird, Strange, and Kooky URLs”. I guess I’m… flattered.

Something else I noticed on AltaVista (or, should I say, have noticed for a while now on all of the major search engines) is the absolute silliness that they engage in by putting your search string into prepackaged ads, like “Find Amazon books on Pamela Anderson nude tattoo”. Here’s today’s (which AltaVista could definitely prevent from displaying, seeing as it uses a custom extension to their search engine as a prefix, which they could filter):

altavista silliness

Jean McGrath, state representative in Arizona, has proposed restricting Internet access on public universities to “educational purposes” and mandating filtering software. This is the same woman who has offered up legislation banning opposite-sex visitors in any dormitory rooms, too… wow.

Ack — McPaper is reporting that apparently, DoubleClick is now actively identifying ad viewers by name, address, and phone number, and passing that information on to advertisers.

For those who saw Being John Malkovich, someone has set up a “mediator” web site that’s pretty funny.

eToys has finally dropped the lawsuit against, for real this time. (Maybe this has something to do with it.)

lunar eclipse

Simple question: could this be more beautiful? (From the Astronomy Picture of the Day site, which is pretty darned cool — two professional astronomers who put amazing pictures up every day, and explain them in laymen’s terms.) Hint: click on each of the four words linked in the last sentence.

Also re: space and the great unknown, Hubble is back and better than ever (the picture of the Eskimo nebula is spiffy as all hell). And the Mars Polar Lander may have sent us a signal after all (tests this week will determine whether this is a pipe dream).

Brent Simmons (Userland employee extraordinaire and Manila logger) has released a great technote on how Manila’s search engine works. If you’re running a search engine, it’s a must-read.

OK, if this isn’t the smartest man on Earth, then I don’t know who is. (And besides, we all know that pudding rocks, but I don’t know how good Healthy Choice brand is.)

When I got to the Georgia Dome yesterday, I was a little uncomfortable seeing the Georgia state flag, with its Confederate flag contribution, flying high all around the stadium. (Jesse Jackson has called for players to alter their uniforms with American flags in protest; the league bans such practices. I wonder if that’s constitutional…)

Interesting… I was always under the impression that Linux prided itself on fixing big security problems quickly, but apparently there’s a long-timer out there. I wonder what it is…

First, we’ve turned poor Elián González into a political toy; now, his grandmothers have left without being able to lay eyes on him. (Interestingly, a similar issue was argued in front of the Supreme Court recently, although it wouldn’t apply here.)

And on the Supreme Court, yesterday the Supremes upheld campaign finance contribution limits.

super bowl 2000

We’re off to Atlanta to set up for the Super Bowl… more when we get there!

Since we’re down in Atlanta for a photo assignment, expect pictures posted to Q, probably tomorrow — we get our processors tomorrow, so we’ll need something to test them with! (*grin*)

Is this news? Talk about common sense, man-on-the-street reporting here…

I don’t know why, but every time I travel, stories like this tend to pop onto my screen more often. My favorite quote: “In a potential life or death situation, even the most condescending passenger will bestow upon flight attendants a level of respect that is usually reserved for priests and emergency room practitioners.”

There’s now a search engine on Q…

Woke up this morning with no heat or hot water — and since it’s 21 degrees out now, that can’t be good.

NEW FEATURE: we’re now searchable! I set up the integrated search engine today… it’s more difficult than I thought it would be to get it to index everything that was already here.

Apache 1.3.11 has been released, but can anyone find a document that describes the changes? All I’ve found is this one, but it’s only current through 1.3.9.

If you’ve got a lot of extra money, this could be coooooool. (I love the commercials, and now I’m eagerly anticipating the Super Bowl one that they’re talking about.)

I’m slowly going to be linking to pages about Windows 2000 that I run across; for this morning, here’s how Win2K determines ACPI compatibility, and this explains that only Win2K Pro supports APM.

One thing that does not disturb me about Dubya is that he was not at this rally. The concept that Forbes, Bauer, and Keyes were proud to be at a rally described as punctuated with “prayers and jeremiads against the evils of homosexuality” is disgusting. And, note to Bauer, who said “When I am elected president, abortion is going to end not in 50 years, not in 40 years, but immediately”: I’d be worried out this if I thought you had more of a chance of being elected than a sea slug. Go away, intolerant-boy.

And still on politics, I feel bad for Bill Bradley that his heart condition is probably going to affect his electability. As a medical person, I know that his condition is benign and totally unrelated to his ability to do a good job were he elected to President, but then again, this country probably wouldn’t have elected FDR if everyone knew he was in a wheelchair.

WinFax 9.0 doesn’t install swimmingly under Windows 2000, for the exact same reason that the first version of WinFax 8.0 didn’t install well under Windows NT 4.0. The fix is easy as pie.

Run the installer, and proceed as normal. At the end of the black-screen part of the installer, it tells you that it’s going to continue with the configuration part of the installation; it then hangs, seemingly unable to continue.

At this point, run the Services applet by hand and go to the Print Spooler service. It is probably stopped; WinFax is desperately trying to start it, but for some reason cannot. Start it by hand instead, and WinFax will magically continue on with its installation.

That’s it! The earliest version of WinFax 8.0 had this same problem.

A slightly new look for Q today… nothing radical. I feel like playing with the look more, though, so don’t be surprised if you see some tinkering goin’ on.

I missed this thread, given that I’ve almost stopped reading Discuss; it’s a remarkable policy, from a notorious whiner. I noticed Dave branding a lot of people whiners lately; quite honestly, each time, I’ve felt that the person he’s branding wasn’t whining, it was just Dave’s way of not having to argue the point that was being made. But whatever.

I finally got my copy of Windows 2000 today! I bought a new machine specifically for it — a real screamer. And we have success! The setup process recognized everything on my machine but my Creative Dxr2 DVD decoder card (which I had to manually install). Now I have DVDs playing without a problem; the only software that did have a problem was WinFax 9.0 (TalkWorks Pro), and here’s my solution.

I’m not the only one who believes that “Your Mom” jokes never go out of style.

Patrick Naughton’s conviction has officially been overturned by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Peter Collier of Salon weighs in on John Rocker, the Atlanta Brave who decided to spout intolerance of every variety to a Sports Illustrated reporter. Collier’s tagline is that Rocker isn’t a racist; his entire article, though, mainly contends that his punishment was draconian, but really can’t convince me that he’s not racist. One does not say things like Rocker said jokingly; saying them to a reporter just adds weight to them. And Collier’s own comments — “his picture of the demographics on the No. 7 train, some have claimed, is not far off” — smack of having some major issues as well.

Meanwhile, some things I never knew came out of the Rocker flap: Twisted Sister has asked Rocker to stop using a song of theirs to introduce himself at games; black Dominican teammate Randall Simon says that he’s the “fat monkey” that Rocker was talking about, and is not amused by the comment; Hank Aaron, a man who had to endure terrible racism during his playing days, was sickened when he read the SI article.

In Windows 2000, the ability to set the NetBIOS scope ID has been removed from the UI, but it’s still doable. You’ve got to add an entry to the Registry (and the normal Registry warnings apply here).

Run the Registry Editor, and go to the following key (HKLM means HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE):


Add a new string value (REG_SZ in REGEDT32), named ScopeID (case is important!), and set it to the scope ID that you desire. Microsoft says that a reboot is not required, but I had to on all of my machines; thus, I’d recommend a reboot.

That’s it!

COOOOOOOL! I got to work today, and my Iron Giant robot was sitting on my desk waiting for me. It’s still in the box, since I have to move out of my office for a week while they do work in here; I’ll unpack it when I move back in.

Breaking: New York judge has barred distribution of DVD decoding software. I predict that this won’t stand on appeal or trial (I know I’m not going out on any limbs here).

sean elliott

Sean Elliott is poised to return to the San Antonio Spurs. Sean has focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and got a kidney transplant from his brother shortly following winning the national championship last year. If he returns, he’ll be the first major league athlete to return after a major solid-organ transplant.

What little banner graphic are all of the hackers going to put on their website now that Kevin has been released? “Let Kevin Online!”?? (And as of right now, the Free Kevin website shows that he will be released in “11 months, 30 days, 22 hours, 6 minutes, 16 seconds”. Hmmmmm…. looks like someone has some JavaScript editing to do.)

The American Medical Student Association’s new Medical Student Bill of Rights.

Does it bother anyone else that all of the major media outlets seem to want to call Elián González “the Cuban boy” rather than by his name? Usually, they get around to mentioning his name, but the headlines or commercial teasers almost invariably use “Cuban boy.” (CNN, NY Times, Chicago Tribune)

And while we’re talking about nicknames, I’m amazed how many serious news outlets are willing to call Russell Tyrone Jones “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” with a seeming straight face.

It turns out that a blind man has had a brain implant since 1978 that allows him to see in a rudimentary sense; when I read about this last week, I thought that it was the coolest thing, and best-kept secret, in a long time.

Lotus is finally sticking cc:Mail where the sun don’t shine. While very popular, cc:Mail has been a nightmare to run and support; all that being said, maybe you’re better off avoiding Lotus Notes, also.

CNN has a fascinating story on a Dutch-as-they-get guy who was made king of a region of Ghana. Royally strange (pun intended).

Two great Frontier tutorials: writing an objectNotFound handler, and setting up the search engine.

And, a few neat medical informatics sites that my mom passed on today: Computers in Medical Education, Journal of Information Technology in Medicine.

If you’re using Windows 2000 and wonder where the ability to set a NetBIOS scope ID went, it’s been removed from the UI. You can still get to it in the Registry, though.

Finally, the traveling is over for a while….

It’s snowing here in NYC! Big, fluffy, swirling snow. I love it.

An interesting Washington court ruling — it’s legal to record (capture) chat session transcripts. A guy who was caught trying to set up sex with a minor objected to the use of the chat transcripts in court, saying that, like telephone conversations, the sessions couldn’t be legally recorded without his knowledge and consent; the court disagreed.

Wow… this month’s Southern Medical Journal has an article on supernumerary breast tissue, including pictures of a 74 year old guy with a fully-formed breast growing on the back of his thigh. (Warning — the article’s a PDF.)

Looks like DIVX is back, but without the big brother worries. I bet this fails, though; it’s hard for me to imagine that this technical workaround is any more cost-effective than just setting up a shop to rent actual DVDs.

Do you remember last year, when the in-development U.S. missile defense system impressively destroyed a dummy target? Well, it turns out that it was sheer accident that it hit the target — a decoy balloon that it locked onto drifted near the target.

I’m back in NYC, but only for a few hours — gotta catch a train to Boston today for a one-day trip. All this traveling’s for the birds.

red moon

Everyone look out for the big red moon tonight, from 11:05 PM EST to 12:22 AM EST. (I don’t know how much ambient light there is where I’ll be in Boston, so I don’t know if I’ll get the full effect.)

Salon has the perfect expression of my feelings about Dubya:

It’s not just that he’s evasive — which he is, refusing to answer questions about his ties to contemptible racists or his position on various relevant issues or his record as governor. And it’s not that he’s so completely and utterly unprepared to rule the nation. It’s that he’s the perfect representation of the mediocrity for which we as a nation continue to settle. Government health chieftains allow a certain number of rat feces and dead bugs in each candy bar. There is actually an acceptable measurement for these sorts of things. And Bush embodies that from head to toe, from the cynicism of his empty answers to the shallowness of his uninquisitive noggin.

On this week’s Kernel Traffic, it turns out that Linux is susceptible to the same ship date creep that so many people complain about with MS products; they even discuss the “bad press” implications of stating ship dates.

I saw Hurricane yesterday night. It’s another must-see — Denzel Washington is terrific, and the story, while clearly adapted for a two-hour movie, is important. It reminded me that this country takes a mighty superior tone when reprimanding other nations for their behavior, when we have done some awful things in the past, and continue to do so to certain groups of people.

All this flap about the Confederate flag in South Carolina reminds me — my high school in Texas, Robert E. Lee High School, had the Confederate flag as our school flag. It was on almost every building on campus, in some places as big as a semi. Our school song was Dixie. If you were an athlete, you had to wear the flag on your uniform; if you protested (as some black athletes did), you were just dismissed from the team. They finally got rid of the flag and Dixie, but people tell me that the flag is still waved, and Dixie is still sung, at every sports event. (I was at the school until 1991, and that’s when they did away with both as “official” school institutions.)

Nice… call the police to report domestic violence next door, and get your dog killed.

Decided to stay one more day out of NYC… so I promise, updates soon.

Hey everyone — I decided to take a road trip down to San Antonio, so no updates today.

REFERRER LOG UPDATE: For those of you who already checked out the Referrer Log release page, I forgot to include a critical part in the installation instructions about editing two site-specific things in the script. Check out the page now; the addition is there, and I apologize for the oversight.

Great — now Wired has a Lycos portal bar across the top, so that more of my screen real estate is gone.

I’m in Dallas now, and I just have to say that Taco Cabana is heaven. I grew up in San Antonio, and moving to New York meant no more great Tex-Mex fast food; going to TC made me very happy today.

Saw Magnolia today with my sister — it’s a surreal, mind-racing, intriguing, surprising, and all in all very worth it movie. I’ve been thinking about it tons since I left the theater, and I’m willing to bet that I keep thinking about it for the next month or so; it’s that kind of movie. There are lots and lots of little connections, references, and quirky things that just won’t let go of me. (There’s no question that I’ll be buying it on DVD.)

Just the other day, I was trying to convince a friend that there’s part of Manhattan that isn’t on the physical island of Manhattan — and then today, I find a site about it. Coooool.

Also, I found a great site that seems to be pretty definitive on New York City’s Upper West Side (my ‘hood). My favorites are this panorama of the Riverside Park shoreline and the block-by-block guides, like this one for my range of streets — if you click on the blocks, some of them actually have images of the entire block storefront. Awesome!

Hey, look — the rest of the civilized world has tolerant policies for their militaries. (I really have no idea why this one issue just angers me to no end.)

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UPDATE: I forgot to tell people that there are two small edits that have to be made to the attached script in order to make it site-specific; see #4 in the installation instructions below.

After running well for over a week, and working out a few bugs, I think that the code for the Referrer Log is ready for release. It’s attached to this message; if you have any problems, questions, or anything like that, just respond to this message. (If you don’t see the header above that shows the attachments, then you’re probably in story view mode; switch to discussion group mode and you’ll see it.)

What does it do?

It shows you a table of all of the websites that are listed as referrers in hits to your website. (This information is kept in the mainResponder logs, and has heretofore been hard to get at in a quick way.)

What does it look like?

You can see an example on this website. It’s been running here since January 3rd.

How do I use it?

You’ve got to have your own Frontier server; the Referrer Log runs as a safe macro, so you have to have the ability to add a script into the #tools table of your website, and have to be able to modify the list of safe macros. Here’s how you do everything:

  1. First, download the getReferrers script from this message. (It’s linked above, in the message header; the easiest way is to click on the fat page link and save the resulting web page to your hard disk.)
  2. Import the script into Frontier. (If you saved the fat page, just use Frontier’s File/Open menu command to open the page.) Save the script into the #tools table of your Manila website, with the name getReferrers. (On my machine, that’s quesoManilaWebsite.[“#tools”].getReferrers.)
  3. Tell Frontier that the script is safe to run as a macro. You do this at config.mainResponder.prefs.legalMacros; inside this table, create another table named getReferrers. Within this new table, create two entries, both booleans — flLegal (set to true), and flParams (also set to true). (If you wanna read it, the straight dope on safe macros from Userland is here.)
  4. Edit the script to refer to your own website, rather than to mine. :) There are two places in the script to change:
    • The line that reads if mrLog^[i][j].host == “” should have your own website hostname in it — this is the line that returns just those hits that are for your website. (It’s meant to help with machines, like EditThisPage, that serve up more than one Manila site — you’ll be able to limit the referrers to just one site.)
    • The line that reads if string.patternMatch(“”, nameOf(referrerTable[i])) > 0 should also be changed to the domain name of your site — it will eliminate all of the references from your own domain. (This will eliminate pages on other webservers of yours that point to your Manila site — it was something that I wanted for my own.)
  5. Lastly, you have to be using guest database logging — it’s the guest database that the script trawls through in order to get all of the referrers. In order to make sure that you’re logging to a guest database, go to user.log.prefs.flLogToGuestDatabase and set it to true.

That’s it for installation — the script now exists in your Manila website, and set up as a safe macro.

Now, as for using the macro… that’s easy. You can just put {getReferrers()} in any discussion group message or story, and it will be replaced by a table of your referrers, just like the table on q.

Also, remember that you can use your Advanced Prefs of your Manila site to create a site structure link to your referrers page (so you can end up with URLs like

What if I find a problem?

Please mail me with anything that you find, including security issues (since this is a safe macro, and I should make sure that it stays safe).

Why is it that only good people get horrible diseases? Marge Schott, Strom Thurmond, David Duke — they’re all going to live long lives.

NEW RELEASE: You can now set up your very own referrers page for your Manila website! The script that I use, as well as instructions on how to set it up, can be found here.

Another excellent movie I saw over the weekend was Run Lola Run (Lola rennt in its original German). It’s a smart movie, with a great plot device that makes it original and worth seeing. It also exploits the DVD thing well — the dialogue is originally in German, so you can either subtitle it in English (my preference) or listen to it in English overdub. Cool.

Online commerce scare stories like this leave a bad taste in my mouth. Getting a slew of credit card numbers illicitly online is only as easy as the people who are charged with implementing security on commerce sites allow it to be, just the same as if we were talking about brick-and-mortar stores. And if the restaurant waiter that I hand my credit card to wants to copy down mine and everyone else’s numbers, that would be easy, too.

There’s more childish egotism tearing through the samba-ntdom list over the past two days. This time, it’s related to a samba misconfiguration that can result in a Windows NT primary domain controller losing control of its domain; the common comments by people on the list are smallminded things like that Windows users don’t know what a daemon is, that Windows users are too stupid to know what a smb.conf file is, and that they deserve to have their samba servers taken away from them (those last two are too new to the list to have hyperlinkable archive versions).

Come on… admit that this isn’t a just a little awesome.

Eeeeewww, this is a guy who likes his job, a lot.

I’m back from San Fran, but in no mood for updates — two good friends have taken seriously ill in the past two days. Bleah.

A small problem has been fixed in the Log Browser add-in; you can download the updated version from the main message explaining the Log Browser. (If you haven’t had any problems using it, you don’t need to download the update.)

I wasn’t going to update the page today, being that this three-hour time difference is too hard for me to adapt to (waaaaah!), but I had to say one thing…

I never thought that I would have to tell people that I work for AOL.

(Now I wish that I had pushed harder to get those business cards made last month; I assume my new ones will read “AOL Time Warner”.)

(Oh, and we had some problems with the referrer log today, but I got them ironed out. Click away.)

iron giant

OK, time for me to (belatedly) jump on a well-ridden bandwagon here. I watched my DVD of The Iron Giant for the first time on the flight to San Fran, and… it’s just friggin amazing. Easily on my top 10 list of all time, and I’m saddened that it didn’t do particularly well in the theaters. If you haven’t seen it, rent it, buy it, whatever, but see it. And if you have kids, definitely buy it and watch it, lots — it’s for you and for them, and it has a lot of great messages in it.

Places to get it: Amazon: DVD, VHS; Reel.Com (DVD or VHS); DVD Wave (DVD only); BigStar: DVD, VHS.

And, one last thing to get (I just ordered mine about 10 minutes ago!).

Troxel v. Granville sounds like it will be interesting — I wish that I were able to listen to the oral arguments. (I’m excited, though, that I may get to sit in on the oral arguments for the are-you-able-to-sue-your-HMO Supreme Court case in February.)

The anti-cybersquatting law is testing its land legs. Some of these seem like legitimate claims, but I don’t know about the major league sports corporations going after fan domains — it seems like they would be happy to have someone out there willing to set up and

Come on, as if we didn’t all already know that Barney is the devil?

golden gate

NEW: a Log Browser add-in for the control panel of Frontier 6.1. Lets you view the entire current day’s log in the web-based control panel… addictive!

I fly out of town this morning to San Francisco (yippee!) for another interview. Updates to resume when I get there.

Wow, 6+ hour flights are tough, especially with the time zone changes and everything. My body doesn’t agree with all of the external time-related cues here — I’m tired, but it’s still light out. Ugh.

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This is an HTTP log browser add-in for the control panel in Frontier 6.1.

What does it do?

It lets you view the entirety of Frontier’s HTTP (mainResponder) log for the current day, in hour-by-hour chunks. It also clearly shows you referrers (so that you can thank all those people who are pointing the way to you).

What does it look like?

Well, you’re in luck — we’ve got a screen shot.

How do I use it?

First of all, you have to be running your own Frontier server; it plugs in to the main configuration database of Frontier, so unless Userland installs this on EditThisPage.Com, you can’t use it there. (Besides, this is a browser for the entire HTTP log, and I would assume that the EditThisPage.Com logs get huge fast, which means that they’re probably tough to trawl through!) You also have to be using guest database logging; check at user.log.prefs.flLogToGuestDatabase to make sure that it’s set to true.

Download the attachment from this message (the links are above, in the header), and import it into your copy of Frontier. (The easiest way to do this is to click on the fat page link above, then save the HTML page that comes up with the File/Save As… command in your browser, and then open this page in Frontier.) You should put the table that you’re importing into Frontier at the address config.mainResponder.controlPanel.wizards.LogBrowser. (The wizards table is where the control panel looks for add-ins.)

Once you’ve installed it at that location, you should be all set to go — load the control panel (, and you should see a section between Settings and Readouts in the left-hand navigation column for Add-ins, with a link to LogBrowser underneath. Click on it, and away you go.

What makes this different from the HTTP readout?

A few things. The HTTP readout that’s already part of the control panel only shows you the current hour; the Log Browser will show you the entire current day, hour by hour.

Additionally, the Log Browser explicitly shows you the web page that referred each hit to your site, whereas with the HTTP readout, you’ve got to mouse over the small asterisk and look in the status bar of your web browser.

Lastly, the Log Browser omits a few columns that the HTTP readout includes — HTTP status code, page size, and load time, to name a couple.

In the end, it’s a matter of preference which one you use. I designed this one because I wanted the specific information that it provides.

What if I find a problem?

You can mail me with any bugs that you discover, and I’ll do my darndest to fix ‘em!


I designed this on a Windows-based machine, and because of the difficulty of squeezing all the necessary text into each line, I made an explicit choice to specify a font in the Log Browser. I use Arial Narrow, and I fess up that I have no clue if it exists on the Mac side. If it doesn’t, then I would love suggestions as to what font I should specify for people who are on Macs. (Just mail me.)

Update: 01/11/2000

There was a small problem with this add-in and MSIE on the Mac; I think that I have fixed it. (MSIE on the Mac seems to have an odd behavior with search and post strings on URL links.) The copy that’s attached to this message is the updated copy.

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Update on the open-source gripe from yesterday: I decided to test the waters on paid support for open source software.


From the samba U.S. commercial support page, I found LinuxCare. They advertise being the first 24x7 support option for Linux and other open-source projects, and their web site is impressive (it turns out I’ve been reading Kernel Traffic and the samba Kernel Cousin on their site for a while now), so I gave them a call. A sales agent, Scott, explained the pricing to me — they do either email or phone support, with the email option running $40 per email, and with the phone option running $150 per hour, during normal business hours only. Once they get into source code authoring (“engineering time”), the prices escalate to $200 per hour.

(Scott also told be that, in matters related to samba, they end up going directly to Andrew Tridgell, the primary author of the software.)

I told him that it wasn’t easy to justify those prices for me — for 2 hours of engineering time, I could buy a copy of Windows NT to replace the samba box — he agreed, recommended that we try this out as an email support case, and see how things go. So away we went.

I spent a little while composing a long, detailed email (as was recommended by Scott, seeing as I was paying by the email), and I emailed it off at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.

Contact, and a Patch!

Late last night, around 1 or 2 AM Eastern time, I got email back from Andrew Tridgell that said that we did indeed find a bug; he included a patch for the source code to boot. (Andrew is in Australia; it was only a god-awful time of day for me to be checking my email, not him.)

After getting my land legs back on patching and installing samba, I got the new binaries compiled and installed, and voila!, no more bug. Andrew also mentioned in his email that they made some other changes to the general architecture of samba, for release in v3.0, that will make the specific network configuration that I run easier to configure.

The State of Things

So, I think that LinuxCare did a really good job on this — they asked for a detailed incident report, which I provided, and then they got it to the right person to fix the problem. When I originally called, I was forced to leave voicemail; Scott called me back within half an hour, and we got started immediately.

In addition, the network configuration that we run (and that brought the samba bug out of hiding) is a pretty rare configuration — I imagine that this bug wasn’t found earlier simply because not many people have implemented NetBIOS scope IDs on their heterogeneous Windows NT and samba networks. But when Andrew got my bug report, he never recommended to us that we change configurations, or do things differently, or anything like that — he fixed the bug, and in addition, told me about other developments that he had implemented for network configurations like ours. I really liked this, and he has gone a long way towards turning me into an evangelist for his software.

The only question that remains in all of this is how much I’m going to be charged by LinuxCare. I sent them one email, and up front, I told them that I knew that there would have to be source code rewriting to be done (I know enough C to read the samba source, and I was able to pinpoint the exact place in the code where the bug was occurring); that being said, we agreed that they wouldn’t contract out for anything beyond the email support without explicitly talking about it. So we’ll see — I’ll keep you posted.

Update on the samba support gripe from yesterday: I found a commercial support provider, and they did a very good job.

Speaking of samba, there’s a new samba Kernel Cousin out today.

I didn’t know that David Theige has an ETP site, but now I do, thanks to my referrer log. I’ve been reading MedEd News, his other site, for a while now (as has my mom, I recently learned!).

(Speaking of the referrer log, I have one more round of cleaning-up-and-making-more-universally-applicable work to do on it, and then I’m going to release it to all y’all who seem to like it.)

Ummmm… is it just me, or is there some actual proof that this kid used a school computer? If they press anything as silly as criminal charges, I’d bet anything that the ACLU will (rightly) get involved.

Ack! There goes my budding astronaut career. From the New Scientist’s alcohol page:

Astronauts aren’t allowed to drink carbonated drinks in orbit, because the body relies on gravity to burp excess gas. No beer is one of the many sacrifices one must make for space exploration.

I found a really good resource for CGIs and webserver scripts a little while back; I was searching for traceroute and ping scripts that could run on NT, and they had just what I needed.

If I had only known about this (and lived in California or Oregon!)…

Steven Hawking may well be the most interesting man on Earth. His ability to get beyond his disability is amazing to me.

Dubya may not have learned from his father; he is now pledging to cut taxes. (He even clarified during the debate that this was more than a “no new taxes” pledge.) My favorite part, though, was the highly-intellectual “No, it doesn’t,” “Yes, it does,” “No, it doesn’t” exchange on the budget surplus between McCain & Bush.

Some of the current and former heads of the U.S. military are dismayed about Gore & Bradley saying that their appointees will have to accept gays in the military. This disgusts me — nobody would question that a flagrant racist shouldn’t be allowed to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but when it comes to homosexuals, we get quotes like “It has nothing to do with the rightness or wrongness of gays in the military, [and] everything to do with how a commander in chief goes about getting the best officers in the land.” This mentality is used to rationalize homophobia and discrimination, and it’s embarassing that our country allows that.

There’s now a fix for relative image src attributes and your Manila-generated XML. The issue is the same as that with relative links and Manila; the fix is similar.

Why didn’t I know about this before? NPR has chosen the 100 most important musical works of the 20th century. An impressive list — Aaron Copeland, James Taylor, Muddy Waters, Paul Simon, Charlie Parker….

My small gripe about the open-source thing is that when you discover a problem, there’s nobody who is guaranteed to work on it. I’m running samba on my Linux box, and we discovered a relatively big bug in how it works in a specific network configuration. I’ve posted the bug to the two places that the samba folks tell me to, and have received no replies, acknowledgements, or anything. I know, I have paid nothing for it and should expect nothing in return — so to me, that means that I can’t even begin to consider samba for an enterprise solution to anything. No support = no deployment.

Someone pointed me yesterday to rivertrout, a collection of letters (yep, actual letters!) written by ordinary people on everyday subjects like fear, love, death… the things that letters used to be written about all the time, but now email has supplanted. I ended up spending way more time than I thought I would on the site.

Another beautiful site (it turns out that both rivertrout and this are on the Project Cool Best of 1999 list): first nine months. It’s heavy in its use of Flash, but just amazingly done, and there’s no way that I’m not going to pass this on to my expectant patients.

This year’s collection of kooky quotes by the far-right. It scares me that an elected official in this country said “Homosexuality is a high sign of the downfall of the nation. There is no joy in life without taking on the responsibility of a wife and children.” (Which is the way to Canada?)

On the other hand, last night’s Dem debate between Gore & Bradley seems to have had some real spunk. Gays in the military, Clinton’s behavior, political leadership, finance — they actually debated real issues. My favorite, though, was Gore, in response to Bradley feeling a little piqued by his attacks, saying: “I’m not giving him hell, I’m telling the truth, and he thinks its hell.”

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In the same vein as the fix yesterday, here’s a fix for the same problem with relative image src attributes.

(Briefly, if you use a relative src attribute — like <img src=”/image.jpg”> rather than <img src=””> — then the XML that’s generated by Manila keeps the path relative, which means that My.Userland doesn’t understand it, and tries to make the image source relative to>.)

So, to fix the problem, here’s a patch to the script manilaSuite.xml.getScriptingNewsXml. I recommend that you not modify the script, but rather that you copy it into some other site, modify that copy, and then change the script that sits at your Manila site’s xml/scriptingNews2.xml location to call your version.

Add the following function to the script (I added it between the encodeWithAmpersands and extractLinks functions). Note that, if you didn’t know it already, Frontier is very smart about cut & paste — you can just copy the below procedure, highlight the place in your script that you want it, and paste it, and Frontier will correctly format it.

on fixImageTags (s) { // added by JEL 01/05/2000
	local {
		pat1 = "<img ", pat2 = "src=\"", pat3 = ">";
		loc1, loc2, loc3;
	loop {
		loc1 = string.patternMatch(pat1, string.lower(s));
		if loc1 == 0 {
		newS = string.mid(s, 1, loc1 + 4);
		s = string.delete(s, 1, loc1 + 4);
		loc2 = string.patternMatch(pat2, string.lower(s));
		loc3 = string.patternMatch(pat3, s);
		if loc3 < loc2 { // no src attribute
		if loc2 != 1 { // the src attribute isn't first
			newS = newS + string.mid(s, 1, loc2 + 3);
			s = string.delete(s, 1, loc2 + 3)}
		else {
			newS = newS + string.mid(s, 1, 4);
			s = string.delete(s, 1, 4)};
		if string.mid(s, 1, 1) == "\"" { // deal with quotes
			newS = newS + "\"";
			s = string.mid(s, 2, infinity)};
		if string.patternMatch(":", s) == 0 { // relative link!
			newS = newS + pta^.ftpSite^.url;
			if string.mid(s, 1, 1) == "/" { // remove slash
				s = string.mid(s, 2, infinity)}};
		loc3 = string.patternMatch(pat3, s);
		newS = newS + string.mid(s, 1, loc3);
		s = string.delete(s, 1, loc3)};
	newS = newS + s;

Next, add a single line to the chewOneBit function. Between the two lines that read:

s = extractLinks (s, @links, @lines);
add ("<item>"); indent++

add a line so that they read:

s = extractLinks (s, @links, @lines);
s = fixImageTags(s);
add ("<item>"); indent++

You should be all set! This patch takes into account that the image tag doesn’t always carry the src parameter right after the opening img text, and that the whole thing can be in upper case or lower case.

A reminder — if you run your own Manila server, use relative URLs in your links (as I recommend in my portability primer), and provide syndication via Manila’s built-in XML capabilities, you probably want to fix a bug in how the XML is generated (or how it’s processed by aggregators like My.Userland).

diana krall

Diana Krall, a sultry jazz temptress, has been given a nod by the Grammys for best album of the year, for When I Look In Your Eyes. Apparently, this is the first jazz album ever in this category. She’s awesome, and if you haven’t heard her, it’s about time. She has another album, All for You, that’s a dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio and is one of my regular Discman inhabitants.

Hello to Leos Kral! (Confirmedly no relation to Diana Krall…) He’s trying to recruit knowledgable Frontier people who have an interest in seeing a pretty neat-looking web-based study guide grow atop Frontier as a platform.

OK, so now I officially crave the HandSpring Visor. I wonder how much this wireless networking option will cost. I can see this as a viable option for making handhelds a great component of a hospital information system.

Gloria Steinem wants the Queens District Attorney to prosecute crimes outside of the United States (much less outside of Queens). Maybe expending energy on getting laws passed that would make this a crime would be a better choice.

This is funny: chuckmail, which is ostensibly the fastest mail transport agent for any computer — because it just chucks all of the mail that it receives into the bitbucket.

Finally, some NYC restaurants and bars are banning or limiting cell phone use. (I can’t tell you how many dinners I have had where people nearby spend their entire time inside the restaurant on their cell phone, frequently with other people at the table with them.)

Here’s an interesting little bit on kissing instructions from Sarah Michelle Gellar (TV’s Buffy). (I wish that they’d use named links so that I could point you right to the piece; instead, it’s the fifth bit on the page.)

Disney’s CEO, Michal Eisner, didn’t get a bonus last year. I hope that his $764,423 salary is enough to live on…

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Since Userland doesn’t seem to want free help with fixing bugs in their software, I decided today to also take down from their site fixes for two pretty big bugs in the XML creation script that comes with Manila.

So you know what the two bugs are:

  • If you use anything but all lowercase letters for your HTML link tags in your Manila site, your XML won’t recognize those tags as links, and thus won’t include them as links in your XML file.
  • If you don’t make your link tags exactly as the script expects them — a format that is by no means required by the HTML specification, then the script won’t recognize them as links, and thus won’t include them as links in your XML file.

I posted a fix for the first bug, but it became clear to me that Dave Winer doesn’t want the community to fix his bugs. Finding this silly, I personally would be happy to provide the bug fix to anyone who wants to prevent this problem from occurring on their Manila server — just mail me and I’ll sent it along.

I’m working on a fix for the second bug; again, you can mail me and I’ll send it when I fix it.

This is the email I received when I posted the patch on Discuss.Userland.Com.

Return-Path: <>
Received: from ([]) by
(Post.Office MTA v3.5.3 release 223 ID# 0-64731U100L100S0V35)
with ESMTP id com for <>;
Tue, 4 Jan 2000 18:20:41 -0500
Received: from murphy ( by with SMTP (Eudora
Internet Mail Server 2.0); Tue, 4 Jan 2000 15:35:13 -0800
Message-ID: <040801bf570a$3ef4bfe0$1918ccce@murphy>
From: Dave Winer <>
To: <>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 15:20:10 -0800
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary="-- -- =_NextPart_000_0405_01BF56C7.30A9AC90"
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2919.6600
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2919.6600
Post the patch on your site. Dave

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Manila automatically generates XML for you so that you can include your site in aggregator-type sites (like My.Userland). It remains faithful to your links — if you specify a relative URL in a link, then the XML generates a link that’s relative. This is a problem if the aggregator isn’t smart about realizing that the link is relative and prepending your site’s URL onto the link — then you end up with links on the aggregator that are relative to the aggregator’s home page, rather than to your own. (This is the exact behavior displayed by My.Userland, and it looks like they’re unwilling to fix it.)

(I won’t go into my perceived benefits of relative vs. absolute URLs here; suffice it to say that I believe that any links to your own website should be relative, not absolute, and this is what drives this bug fix.)

The problem that the aggregator has can prevented by just having your Manila site generate XML that has fixes the relative URLs on-the-fly, thus not giving the aggregator a chance to screw them up.

I posted a patch to Discuss.Userland today, in the belief that (a) since I knew how to fix the bug and knew how to write the code to do it, I shouldn’t just whine for them to fix it, and (b) because I really wanted Manila to be a better product; unfortunately, you can’t read the patch there, since Dave Winer deleted it. (I guess all his talk about the terrific Frontier community isn’t as genuine as it seems to be, which I find funny since his employees readily and quickly fixed the major mainResponder security bug that I found a few weeks back.) So I’ve posted the apparently-controversial patch here, all five lines of it.

For those who want to fix this problem on their own sites, here’s the five-line addition to manilaSuite.xml.getScriptingNewsXml that will solve the issue entirely.

In the extractLinks procedure, within the loop, there are two lines that read:

url = string.mid (s, 1, ix - 1)
s = string.delete (s, 1, ix)

Between these two lines, add the following code:

if string.patternMatch(":", url) == 0 // means that the link is relative
if string.mid(url, 1, 1) == "/"
url = pta^.ftpSite^.url + string.mid(url, 2, infinity)
url = pta^.ftpSite^.url + url

My site has this code running now, and my relative links appear correct (in other words, I add the site prefix) in the XML.

(Note that I stressed a little about doing the patternMatch for a colon — I didn’t know if that’s a legit test to see whether or not the url includes a protocol prefix or not, since I didn’t know if a colon could be elsewhere in a URL but as a delimiter after the protocol prefix. But according to the RFC on URIs, the colon is a reserved character for just this purpose.)

If you don’t want to muck with Userland’s code (like I don’t), then do what I did — copy the script into another location and edit it there, and then change the script that sits in your site table at xml/scriptingNews2.xml from calling the Userland version to calling your own. Remember that you’ll have to keep your eyes out for updates to the officially-sanctioned version of the script, and roll them into your own as well.

Today, I found an annoying bug in the way that My.Userland parses and displays the XML file that’s generated by a Manila site. I posted a patch to Discuss.Userland to fix it, but was rebuffed (I didn’t know it was inappropriate to offer free help for bug fixes!) — so I now present the patch to you here.

I also found two other big bugs in the way that Manila parses your site to create the XML, and would be happy to provide fixes for those to anyone who wants them for their own personal (or corporate!) Manila servers.

Check out last night’s new feature: in the navbar to the left, click on Referrers. It’ll show you all of the sites that people have found us through. Dynamically-updated, at that!

The referrer logs are great — I just found Brent Simmons’s Manila site (now, I wish that he’d update it more often!), Medley (which has my current favorite X-Files quote in the banner), and What’s On It For Me? (with a great poll currently!).

What a beautifully done website — the Yale Introduction to Cardiothoracic Imaging. I wish I had had this when I was in class and going through my cardiothoracic rotations.

Another interesting converstation in the open source community is taking place on the samba-ntdom list. Samba is a suite that implements Microsoft networking
on Unix boxes; the discussion is about whether or not they should create the ability and hooks that would allow use of the Windows Server Manager to start and stop the services remotely (just as can be done on all Windows boxes that can authenticate against each other).

What’s unsettling to me is that, for the most part, the discussion seemed to end with the idea that only a certain class of people should have the ability to do certain things on Unix — that Windows users aren’t smart enough, or good enough, or whatever, to make the decision to stop and start the samba services on a Unix box. (Even the lone concessionary message throws around anti-Microsoft insults.) The pure ego in these statements just floors me; speaking only for myself, it’s this kind of attitude that works against mindshare for the open source movement.

dave brubeck, the great concerts

Today’s music: Dave Brubeck, The Great Concerts: Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall, Copenhagen. A truly great CD; I heard Brubeck play last Father’s Day at Carnegie Hall, with his son and James Moody. It was awesome, and I’m glad that Brubeck is still going strong.

The last Peanuts daily is online today. (The site’s a little slow, for obvious reasons; in addition, this link will break at some point, since United doesn’t permanently archive the cartoons.)

There’s a particularly clever One Swell Foop from the turn of the year… I kept rereading it and finding something else to giggle at. (Do they archive old OSFs? If not, this link will die when a new one is posted.)

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the federal law which prevents people from suing their managed care health companies. I truly don’t understand the legal justification for the restriction in the first place; in this article, the CEO of Aetna uses the fact that this is always how it’s been to justify that it makes sense (never a good argument, just as all self-referential ones tend not to be).

ESPN has a nice article about Sean Elliott, the San Antonio Spur small forward who had a kidney transplant from his brother last year just after winning the NBA Championship, and his drive to return to the NBA. He’s just awesome, and I don’t think anyone isn’t wishing him the best of luck.

After comparing the primary process to a blockbuster movie, Warren Beatty has bowed out of potentially running for President this year.

snoopy typing

Today’s the last new daily Peanuts cartoon — catch it in your local paper! (And the official Peanuts site has made arrangements to put the cartoon up tomorrow, instead of their normal 7-days-after schedule.) Note, though, that it’s not like Peanuts is going totally away — from here on, they will run the best strips from the history of the cartoon. Yeah!

New feature: now, in the navigation bar to the left, there’s a link called Referrers. It will take you to a page which lists all of the websites that are referring people here.

From the referrers — I am flattered by Kate Adams’s comments, but I wonder what the JavaScript error she is getting is.

There’s an interesting discussion going on in the linux community. At some point, khttpd — an http server — was added to the linux kernel code. On 12/22/1999, someone asked why a http server was in the kernel (rather than a separate application), and generated a lot of discussion. In the ensuing thread, the only justification for khttpd was that it had good performance and a minor impact on the kernel; on the other side, one person speculated that khttpd was a product of the linux community wanting to respond to perceived FUD from Microsoft; another person speculated that it was a response to the Mindcraft study that showed that linux wasn’t all that great a webserver.

To me, though, it’s funny — when Microsoft added a web browser to the operating system, a lot of fury was generated, much of it by the open source people and their ilk. It would seem to me that the same arguments would work against the decision to add a web server into the linux kernel… but, that’s just my take on it. (Personally, I believe that a web browser in the operating system is A Good Thing, and I also believe that a limited web server in the operating system would be A Good Thing — Dave Winer has been talking about this idea, in some form, for years now.)

I hadn’t realized that the new Darwin Awards had come out — I like one of their choices for the winner, a Palestinian terrorist group who hadn’t changed the timers on their bombs from daylight savings time to standard time, so the bombs went off when they were driving them to their final destination.

Dan Lyke has a hilarious local rant from a few days ago — it involves a Y2K demand that, on face, seemed inappropriate, but it ended up being quite agreeable.

Kwikware has put together a good page with screenshots of many little Y2K glitches on websites worldwide. The funniest: the Auckland Airport, with a Y2K glitch on their page reporting no Y2K glitches.

As of now, Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes is the only unbeaten boat in the America’s Cup semifinals. Go S&S!

Happy happy joy joy! The version of Windows 2000 that will ship this month to the MSDN subscribers won’t be date-disabled or user-limited as past versions of Windows NT have been. So, if you want to get Win2K early and have been thinking about signing up with MSDN, sign up now — they are promising that all MSDN membership orders placed by 01/07/2000 will get the Win2K shipment.

I’m bored of people complaining about the delayed release schedule of Windows 2000. If Microsoft had released it in 1998, then people would have been upset about bugs and missing features; if they delay it and work on it, then people complain about how long it takes. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t; I’m just excited to get my hands on it. It looks to be a big step up, at least for things that I do.

Hrrrrmmmm… looks like the gun used (or at least found) in the Sean Combs/Jennifer Lopez NYC nightclub fracas was stolen from Georgia. Why would an uber-successful music mogul either be involved in this, or hang out with people who are?

OK, there’s Y2K hysteria, and then there’s someone who fears the new year so much that he sews his eyes and lips shut.

fireworks in france

The French fireworks on New Year’s Eve were, by far, my favorite — the Eiffel Tower was just awesome.

Charles Schultz’s last daily Peanuts strip will appear in newspapers tomorrow; his last Sunday strip will appear in papers February 13th. :(

Here’s a Peanuts quiz, a site of get-well cards to “Sparky” Schultz, and the Peanuts theme (I’m pretty sure that anyone would recognize this by ear, which is an amazing thing).

I know, we’re all sick of predictions for the next however-long-you-want, but the New York Times has a good list of predicted topics in Internet law for the next year. (As an aside, I don’t like linking to the NYT, since you need to register to view the site, and the pages end up in an archive that you have to pay in order to look at. Bleah.)

hepburn, not hewitt

Ohmygawd — everyone’s favorite little insipid teenybopper, Jennifer Love Hewitt, is going to play Audrey Hepburn in an upcoming ABC movie. I just don’t see it — Audrey Hepburn was one of the most beautiful, talented, and graceful actresses of her time. Hewitt ain’t got nuthin’ on her. (Angered fans of Hepburn have set up a website opposing the decision.)

An interesting MSNBC piece about a Zulu (who are naturally disgusted with seafood) becoming a sushi chef. Interestingly, some Japanese don’t like black sushi chefs… the world still has a ways to go.

The baby that Rae Carruth didn’t want was released from the hospital yesterday. I feel really terrible for this child; mom dead, dad probably going to jail for a long, long, long time — it will be really tough for him.

Great, so now the house from the most overhyped and underwhelming movie of 1999 will be saved. Can’t wait to see what the unidentified party will do with the house…


Well, the new year has rung in, and it doesn’t look like a thing happened. Awesome. (Well, some minor inconveniences may have occurred, but…)

The blank calendar in Manila (to the right of this paragraph) looks damn cool. Of course, it will only be blank today…

Phil took along his spiffy Contax G2 to dinner last night, and we’ve got the pictures to prove it.

So, we ate at Emeril’s last night, and from memory, here’s the menu: first, a French oyster with melon sherbert, a lobster cocktail salad, an enormous prawn marinated in something lemony, and Beluga caviar; then, a sea scallop wrapped in dover sole and drenched in a lobster roe sauce; then, a challah french toast with squash flan (laced with pumpkin seed oil) and foie gras, surrounded by caramelized cocktail onions; then, a stuffed breast of pheasant in a wine reduction; then, a mixed grill of venison, wild boar, and magret duck served on a hot rock (literally) with roasted vegetables; then, a cheese plate; and last, a mix of cookies, chocolate, and mousse. Each course came with a different bottle of wine, all of which were amazing. There was a three-piece jazz ensemble playing terrific music, and the whole night was fantastically memorable. (And, we weren’t in Times Square!) Emeril didn’t make an appearance, though…

I said it last week and I’ll say it again now — it’s not right to augment the normal process of birth just because the friggin year is changing.

Thank goodness that Rudy built his special command bunker for the Y2K changeover.

Slate has a very strange article disputing Time Magazine’s choice of Albert Einstein as Person of the Century. The article seems to want to construct a controversy where there was none, and the justifications are just odd to me.