After some feedback on the Manila altTemplate plug-in, I’ve updated a few scripts. If you’ve installed it, all you need to do is update the altTemplate root, and voila, the updates will flow in.

Shocking newsthe Republicans are hypocrites!

Damn that Y chromosome, I wanna be a tetrachromat!

An short passage, encrypted by Edgar Allen Poe in 1841, was just decrypted by a Canadian computer programmer. (Strangely, it predicted that a clueless buffoon would win the 2000 election…)

I wonder if, after the installation of the new solar panels, the space station will even be visible from NYC… now that would be cool. Hell, it’s just cool that they’re about to install panels that are 240 feet wide onto an orbiting object.

I dunno, do ya’ think that it’s about time to cut out this Nazi relic? I wonder how the Germans let this go for 63 years, but then again, I wonder why someone planted a swastika of larch trees in the first place.

From the pictures, it looks like you had a nice Thanksgiving, Meg; personally, I’m just happy that the Iron Giant was allowed to participate.

Below is a list of the bugs in altTemplate, both fixed and unfixed, as well as the feature additions or removals.

Unfixed bugs

None, yet.

Feature changes

None, yet.

Fixed bugs

Fixed two redirection errors where it was assumed that a site is at the root of a Manila server’s webserving hierarchy; now, altTemplate figures out where a site is located by the #ftpSite.url object in the site’s database. (Errors in 1.0a1, version number not incremented after change.)

I downloaded and installed the plugin, enabled it on a test site, then attempted to add a template but got this error.

Sorry! There was an error: There is no folder or object database named “at.root” in the folder “Macintosh HD:Frontier 6.1:Guest Databases:www:”

My server is set up to create subsites rather than top-level sites. Does this cause problems with the plugin?


New Manila plug-in: altTemplate. It allows you to create new, alternate templates for your Manila site, and render selective messages through those templates. (As an example, here’s the altTemplate home page rendered through a totally blank template.) You have to control your own Manila server in order to install and use the plug-in (although, of course, you can ask your server manager to install it as well).

First, he says he didn’t do it — “I’m such a good person. People who know me just can’t believe this is happening.” — and then he admits he did it — “I apologize. I do understand that everyone should have to pay the tolls.” With people like Clinton and Dubya setting good examples for the proper way to respond to allegations which turn out to be provable and true, though, would you expect anything different from average American citizens?

Cool — while they’re not allowing cameras in the Supreme Court, the Justices are going to release the audio of Friday’s hearing “on an expedited basis.” It will be cool to listen to those arguments; that being said, Justices frequently ask devil’s advocate questions, and I’m willing to bet that TV stations will turn the tape into soundbites that take a lot of those kinds of questions well out of context.

Michael Kinsley has a good column on the idiocy of whining about the contesting of Florida’s election returns. My favorite point: Katherine Harris actually used the necessity of being able to contest an election in a timely fashion as the reason for having to certify the results when she did; buying her need to certify the election also buys you into the legitimacy of contesting the returns once certified.

last updated:

current version: 1.0a1 (change list)

A while back, I realized that one of the biggest problems with Manila is that every page is rendered through the exact same master template.[1] This means that, if you want a pop-up window rendered out of your Manila site, or a page with a different background color, or without the stuff that you’ve framed every other page with, you’re out of luck. A few days later, though, I realized that I could change it, and out of that realization came this, the altTemplate plug-in.

Once again, if you install this plug-in, I’d love it if you’d drop me a message to let me know what you think, and if you have any problems.

What does it do?

This plug-in lets you create alternate templates, and then render messages through those templates. These templates can be nearly-identical, or completely different, than your current site template, and you can create as many of them as you want (limited only by memory requirements of the machine running Frontier and Manila). For an example, check out this very page rendered through a completely blank template.

How do I use it?

It’s a standard Manila Plug-In, which means that it needs to be installed on your Manila Server, and then enabled for each site that wants to use it.

If you control your own Manila server, then this is easy — you can download and install the plug-in yourself. If your site is on a public Manila server that you don’t control, then you need to ask the administrator of that server to download and install the plug-in, and then you can enable it on your site.

There are two downloads, both very small — a ZIP file (6 Kb), a StuffIt archive (6 Kb, thanks to Marek Behr), and a straight Frontier root file (25 Kb).

Installing the plug-in

  1. After downloading, and (if necessary) unzipping, altTemplate.root, put it into the apps subfolder of Frontier’s Guest Databases folder.
  2. Open altTemplate.root in Frontier.
  3. With altTemplate.root frontmost, go to Frontier’s Server menu and choose Add to user.databases…. Affirm that this is what you want to do, and then close the user.databases subwindow once it comes up.
  4. Run the script in altTemplate.root at atSuite.install — this will install and register the plug-in. That’s it for the installation.

Updating the plug-in to the latest version

The altTemplate plug-in supports Frontier’s standard subscription mechanism, so you can update it from within Frontier. Make the altTemplate.root window visible and bring it to the front, and then choose Update altTemplate.root… from the Main menu.

Enabling and setting up the plug-in on a site

Log into the site as a managing editor, and choose Prefs from the editors-only bar at the top of the page. Click on Plug-Ins in the left-handed navbar once it comes up, and then check the checkbox next to altTemplate. Submit the form.

Now, the editors-only bar at the top of the page has an added entry, altTemplate, which will take you to the configuration page for the plug-in. Click on it.

This next page is the main altTemplate configuration center; from here, you can add, edit, or delete templates, and you can manage the process of rendering messages through templates (called “template associations”).

Adding a template: when you enter a name and click on “create template,” the template record will be created in your website database, and you’ll automatically be taken to the page to edit the new template. Easy cheesy.

Editing a template: choose a template from the pull-down, and then click on “edit template.” The edit page is very similar to the template section of the Manila Advanced prefs page; you enter the template the same way. The difference inherent in altTemplate is that the only macro required is the {bodytext} macro; I’m even toying with eliminating this, as well. Click on “submit template” when you’re done.

Deleting a template: this is the easiest option; all you have to do is choose the template and click on “delete template.”

Managing associations: this is where the heart of things happens. Clicking on “manage associations” brings you to another page which allows you to add, edit, and delete the tying of templates to specific messages.

Adding an association: in order to add an association, you need to know its message number in the discussion group. (In addition, right now, you can only associate stories with alternate templates, so you’ll have to promote a message to the level of story before you can add the association.) Type in the message number, choose the template you want to use from the pull-down, and type in a pathname with which you’d like to access the message rendered in the new template. The pathname will be added to the end of a URL to call up the association; see below, in the Accessing an association section, for how it’s used in the URL.

Editing an association: in the table at the bottom of the page, you’ll see all of your associations; clicking on “EDIT” will move the information about the association up into the “add/edit association” section of the form, and you can change it as you wish.

Accessing an association: this is the key to the whole plug-in — the URL that you use to render the message through the new template. In the same table at the bottom of the page, the leftmost column contains all of the pathnames, and each is a link that takes you to the message rendered in the chosen template. Click on it to see what happens. In a nutshell, though, the URL format is as follows:$pathname

Deleting an association: in the same table, you can click on “DELETE” and the association will vanish.

That’s it — the docs are a bit skimpy so far, since the plug-in is still in alpha testing.

What if I find a problem?

You can mail me with any problems, or post to the discussion group, and I’ll do everything I can to fix ‘em. Once fixed, you can just update your altTemplate.root to get the updates.


[1]That is, every page except for the home page, if you enable the home page template option

A few searches I’m proud to be a part of, but semi-bewildered about nonetheless:

Snippet of conversation last night between my friend and me, walking downtown across 34th Street on the East Side of Manhattan, lamenting the fact that most stores were closed and people weren’t out and about:

Friend: “If we were here on the West Side, people would be out and things would be open.”
Me: “Yeah, but here on the West Side is all porn.”
Friend: “Well, at least porn is open!”

Oh, this Phish fan resume (from MetaFilter, of course) is sheer genius.

The Supreme Court declared drug roadblocks unconstitutional today, based on Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches. And for those worried about Bush’s potential effect on this country via nominations to the Court, be afraid — Sandra Day O’Connor, one of the “conservatives” often said to be a possible retiree over the next four years, wrote for the majority in this case. (For those not averse to PDF files, the decision is already published.)

After reading how many people are turning to the web for medical information, I think that there’s a real, strong opportunity for the big medical organizations (American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, etc.) to build a good, evidence-based, consumer-level website of medical reference. I spend so much time debunking web-based folklore (not to mention truly dangerous ideas); I’d love to be able to point my patients to something that I know I could trust.

Sex change on the Internet…

Finally, a quote about the Microsoft trial that I can agree with:

“[Jackson’s] extensive public comments about the merits of this case epitomize his disregard for proper procedure. [His] public comments would lead a reasonable observer to question his impartiality and — together with other procedural irregularities — the fairness of the entire proceeding.”

Of course, Jackson may not have that much longer on this case; many analysts see him being removed from the case if and when the District Court sends it back for reconsideration (and that’s if his breakup order isn’t overturned.)

And in other Microsoft news, University of Utah professor Lee Hollaar wants to file an amicus brief in support of the government, claiming unique insight into MS operating systems due to his prior study of the source code. The problem with this, however, is well-stated in Microsoft’s reply brief: “Mr. Hollaar has apparently forgotten that he became acquainted with the source code of Microsoft’s operating systems in the Caldera and Bristol cases pursuant to protective orders that strictly prohibit him from using that knowledge for any purpose other than preparing his testimony in those cases.” And people accuse Microsoft of dirty pool?

Possibly one of the coolest pictures I’ve seen in my lifetime: Earth At Night, assembled from hundreds of pictures taken by the satellites of the Defense Meteorological Satellites Program.

If you can’t convince women to have sex with you by “traditional” means, then convince them that you’re a faith healer, and sex with you would cleanse them of evil spirits. (Careful, though; your prison cellmate may try the same reasoning on you…)

I think it would be a bad precedent to set to let people who have too much money and too little neuronal function launch into space and spend time on the International Space Station. Next, you’d have Larry Ellison sneaking continent-sized Oracle ads into space in his carry-on luggage, and that just cannot amount to much good.

While (obviously) partisan, Robert Wright’s latest editorial on Slate is a damn good summary of just how offensive the behavior and rhetoric of the Republicans has been in the past few weeks. And elsewhere on Slate, Timothy Noah weighs in, catching Katherine Harris in yet another lie about what she could and could not do Sunday night in her vote certification. (Hint to Katherine: if you’re going to lie, don’t do it while citing your reasons in publicly-recorded laws; someone can, and will, eventually read the law and realize that you’re full of shit.)

I’m soooo sick of the press using kid gloves on Dubya; for the love of God, the man is asking Democrats not to challenge the election results any further, yet he also filed his fifth lawsuit yesterday to force Florida counties to adjust their ballot numbers! He also was the one who filed the appeal to the Supreme Court. If he really meant what he said, he’s withdraw the appeal at the Court — but, of course, he’s never meant what he has said. What a disingenuous boob.

Of course, the Supreme Court ruled to keep cameras out. But does C-SPAN’s general counsel really think that this case is more deserving of cameras than any other? I find that hard to believe.

George W. Bush, or chimpanzee?

Today, in the same DaveNet, a scold about irresponsible use of suppositions and hyperbole and then a great example of said traits:

Stop and evalutate. Only say things you know to be true. Every adult has this responsibility.

Certainly the Gore strategists are working on a plan to get the military involved on their side. Perhaps the talk of fascism is part of that plan?


I love the idea of ISSN numbers for weblogs — if nothing else, it can help make all of us freaks feel like there’s a legitimate purpose to the amount of time we spend maintaining our sites.

I gotta tell ya’, I’m proud as hell to be in the returns of this search.

Time Warner has settled, with prejudice, a pending lawsuit with the Department of Labor for $5.5 million; much like the recent Microsoft fracas, Time Warner was being sued for alleged misclassifications of employees in order to avoid having to provide benefits. I’d imagine that, with the imminent merger with AOL, Time Warner wanted to get this behind them.

CNN and the Florida Broadcasting Association are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow cameras in the Court during this Friday’s election-related appeal. I can’t imagine that they’ll get the permission; while much more media-saturated, this is hardly the most important case that’s been argued before the Court in the past few years.

What’s interesting to me is that it appears that Laurence Tribe will be arguing for Gore; he’s been bandied about as a possible nominee to the Court someday. As for Bush’s counsel, I’ve actually heard Ted Olson argue before the Court, and he’s no dummy either. Two friends of mine are going to be at the arguments, which would be damn cool.

I’m not sure why, but I think Damien’s trying to say something in today’s post, and it’s not necessarily about fairness in secondary school test grading…

Can you imagine losing a satellite on launch, sucking it up and building a replacement satellite, and then losing that satellite on launch? The satellite was going to provide consumer-level imaging of Earth, with resolution down to one meter; EarthWatch has offically declared the mission a failure.

Happy post-Thanksgiving, big-ass-shopping day!

This morning, I fell in love, hopelessly, swimmingly, forever in love… with my new 17” flatscreen monitor. It turns out that my residency program dropped a big check in my account this week, a “housing allowance” that I had not known about. So instead of treating it like a housing allowance, I treated it like a buy-a-nice-present-for-Jason allowance. I went to CompUSA first thing this morning, walked out ten minutes later with my new toy, and had it hooked up and running within the hour; I love it.

I gotta say it, I just don’t understand Radio Userland. The entire beauty of Manila and Blogger is that you do everything you want to do in your browser window — no other app needed, and more importantly, no other app needed when you’re somewhere other than your primary workplace. You don’t have to keep the settings of some application synchronized across two or three computers. All you need is your browser. That’s the key for me, and the only way I could continue to maintain a (quasi-)daily website.

This week, Microsoft announced that the next release of Windows will require software to be digitally signed in order to run. The problem with this is that it just shifts the security burden to another group of companies, those that issue digital signatures (e.g., Verisign, Baltimore, and GlobalSign), and it’s another set of privacy policies, issuance rules, and revocation procedures that we will all have to learn and follow.

Uh oh…. is it a server configuration error, or are Meg and Evan up to something supersecret and clandestine today? If they’re taking over the world, I want to be first in line to request the position of Ambassador to TiVo and Other Gadgetry.

Last night, I was playing around with ofoto with a cousin of mine, and was blown away by the little drag-and-drop applet that they provide to be able to upload images easily; I wish that Manila had this feature. The help info says it works in Internet Explorer on the PC, and in both IE and Netscape on the Mac — that covers a lot of ground.

Thank you, Firda, for the link to the Modern Humorist Real-Life Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. Classic.

I did not avoid Vietnam service by enlisting family help to get into the Texas National Guard. I have not been arrested since 1968. I didn’t talk about my DWI because I didn’t want my daughters to follow in my footsteps. Dick Cheney did not have a heart attack. I wonder what all these statements have in common…

And, demonstrating his complete lack of understanding of how this country has divided roles among the various branches of government, we have Dubya in Austin today:

“The legislature’s job is to write law. It’s the executive branch’s job to interpret law.”

How badly do I want this? Bluetooth is going to lead to some cool-ass toys.

I bet that porting Wpoison over to the world of Frontier, as a Manila site plug-in, would be a trivial task…. maybe something to think about doing over the weekend holiday.

Where did all of’s seed money go? To an expensive URL, an annoying Flash-animated splash page, and an “unlaunch” party; the company won’t ever see the light of day.

Jason Kottke seems to have caught a web thief in flagrante, as it were, an excellent catch. (I took screenshots of both the IBM and Sumerset sites, just for posterity’s sake…) Google’s got a cached page that includes a form link to in it; I also got a screenshot of the page and its source, clearly showing the link.

Ah, you’ve gotta love that new XFL.

I say we demand a new rule for the media: every time that they report a Republican official’s complaints about how terribly unfair it is for Florida to be counting dimpled ballots, they must also report that Texas election law (and specifically, law signed by George W. Bush) specifically counts dimpled ballots. That way, at least the entire media-consuming public knows what a crock of shit these complaints are.

Thankfully, in the deluge of Florida election-related news, the news outlets are gettin’ plucky: Court Legalizes Hand Jobs.

Looks like, despite all the bitching and moaning, Carnivore works the way the FBI said it does. There’s such a fundamental distrust of law enforcement in this country; the only way that the independent review of Carnivore would have mattered is if Perritt concluded that it violated basic tenets of security, in which case people would have trumpeted the finding as proof of their suspicions. The fact that the review found no major problems will go mostly unnoticed.

From Luke today comes news about a new O’Reilly book, this one on securing Windows NT and Win2K servers on the Internet. The first chapter is online; time to do some reading!

For those New Yorkers who don’t know, tomorrow night all the floats for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade get inflated on the roads surrounding the Museum of Natural History; from 6 PM to 11 PM, you can walk around and watch ‘em grow. I found out about this years ago, and try never to miss it — lots of kids, and you can see the floats without having to freeze your ass off at the godawful Parade.

I was wondering why Gwyneth Paltrow was on the last Saturday Night Live! (And since we’re on the subject, can anyone give me a good reason why Gwyneth and I aren’t dating?)

What a strange, strange man — there must be room in the DSM-IV for his condition.

Cheney’s Wyoming “residence” has again been challenged, this time by three Texas residents. It turns out that the suit filed last week by a Florida resident was dismissed; the most recent suit was filed hours after that dismissal.

eBay took quite a hit today, although being one of the few profitable dot-com businesses, this may be more part of the general dot-com fear rather than realism.

From the CNN homepage today — buy more than $40 from Barnes & Noble (through the end of November 24th), get $10 off with coupon code ZZJ8KSW. (I mention this because I know I need to get cracking on the holiday book presents, so I assume others do too!)

I had to come home early from the hospital today — to meet my Time Warner cable installer, who was here to put in my new digital cable boxes. Damn, is digital cable nice. The image is crystal clear, the guide kicks ass, and the box has some interesting connections on the back (USB, FireWire, and “data” which looks like some sort of serial port; the manual also shows the possibility of an ethernet port). Time to play a bit. (If anyone else has a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2000 set-top box, drop me a line.)

Yahoo has been banned from allowing French users to view or participate in any auctions of Nazi memorabilia. I wonder how Yahoo plans to handle this; they’ve either got to come up with a technical solution or ban Nazi memorabilia auctions worldwide.

If, at first, they don’t recognize you’re still alive, call, call 911 again. They didn’t check for a pulse? Great job, guys.


How the Grinch Stole Election Day, also available in audio form. (Slate offers this with “respect” to Dr. Seuss; seems like it should have been offered with apologies instead.)

Interested or not, the benefit of all this election hoo-hah in Florida is the strange-ass news that’s coming out of the mess.

Anyone out there feel like testing IPv6 for Windows 2000? According to the FAQ, the preview stack will allow web page views; I’m not quite clear on the addressing scheme, though. (This clears it up a little.) The whole thing is tempting, seeing as if you have the right routing equipment, you can join the 6boneanything called “6bone” must be worth joining.

Russ Cooper has come up with two excellent web pages, one for IIS 4.0 and one for IIS 5.0, that try to keep up-to-date with the hotfixes that any security-conscious web administrator should apply. Take heed.

Timothy Noah has a great little ditty on little bits of history that weren’t, including Alexander Graham Bell’s role in making Chester A. Arthur into President of the United States.

Will someone explain to me why disqualifying a ballot because it doesn’t meet the standards set by the law is unpatriotic, while disqualifying a ballot because the machine didn’t punch a hole all the way through is legitimate (albeit not in line with what the law says)? The bandying about of words like “patriotic” is especially disingenuous, as well, implying that the vote of someone in the military is somehow more important than that of a civilian, not to mention somehow less vulnerable to the applicable election laws.

By the way, not that it matters in the who-will-live-in-the-White-House sense, but Gore has finally won New Mexico, and appears to still have Wisconsin and Oregon in his pocket.

first earth image from iss

The first picture of Earth taken by the inhabitants of the International Space Station has been sent back, and it’s a beauty. With my obsession of all that is space-related, I can’t wait for the images to come pouring in…

I have to say I’m pretty damn honored to be on Matt’s daily reading list. My daily reading list is comprised of the links in the bookmark list in the gutter of this page; close inspection will demonstrate that Matt’s there, and good memory will recognize that he’s been there for a while.

Somewhere, there’s some guy who just found out that his girlfriend wrote in to a sex advice column, and he’s damn proud.

Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s take one of the crappiest designs of a computer — a design that completely reversed a company’s phoenix-like rise from the ashes and sent its stock tumbling — and copy it, throw Linux on, and sell it. Oh, wait… crap, someone’s done it. (Of course, Linux-centric strategies are having their own struggles to boot.)

It’s not so often that Mike and I agree on something, but agree on something we do — Andrea is being a bit of a bitch. Why take a gesture so well-meaning and deride it? Seems nuts.

Anyone think it was a coincidence that Clinton’s remarks on human rights in Vietnam were munged by the translator on the nationally-run television station?

From what I can tell, the Mac version of Netscape 6 has a few issues, as well. It’s amazing to me that I’m not reading diatribes about the browser from the same fanatics who lambaste Microsoft for releasing products with known bugs; I can’t say it surprises me all that much, though.

I ain’t gonna lie to you — my friend Phil can take a damn fine picture.

My sister needs some help — she’s finishing off a business school class, and part of her project involves needing answers to a survey. It’s a short 10-question survey on television advertising; it should take all of a minute to complete. If you’re willing to help (and I beg that you do!), click away.

The possible answers to the survey seem really wierd to me, since I haven’t owned a tv in about 2 years.

It made the election season nearly endurable…


Hey, you — pay attention to that grey box up there at the top of the page, and if you haven’t, help out my sis and fill out the survey. (If you’re on a page view that doesn’t have the grey box, go here.)

Piggyback strong woman.

If anyone’s got an extra four grand lying around, he or she could feel absolutely free to buy me this scanner. (It’s a new Polaroid, announced this week, and at least by specs, it beats our Scitex EverSmart Pros. Intereting indeed.)

TiVo is at it again, this time with an essay contest on how TiVo can help you enjoy TV rivalries (huh?). They’re giving away Sony 30-hour recorders this time, rather than the Philips 14-hour ones. Contest ends December 15th, so get you essays in now…

When Firda wants a screenshot, Firda gets a screenshot. And now, Mike wants a screenshot, too.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how this band of nutjobs ended up in my referrer log yesterday. Should I be worried? Am I being targeted as against vasectomies and tubal ligations?

Thank you, Neale, I really needed to read about poop transfusion. Most concerning to me: there’s this little rule we have in hospitals that any body fluids given from one person to another (e.g., blood, platelets, immunoglobulins) is sterilized beforehand. Clearly, here they want the bacteria and bugs and whatnot — but riding along, they get the hepatitis, polio, and HIV. Ick.

Back in August, I pointed to a Writ piece about how the Twelfth Amendment could prohibit the Bush/Cheney ticket, or at least prohibit the Texas Electoral College delegates from voting for Bush/Cheney. (The Amendment prohibits Electors from casting votes for a ticket which contains two members from the same state as the Electors.) Today, Lawrence Caplan, a lawyer in Florida who’s fed up with Bush’s tactics in that state, filed a Federal lawsuit questioning Texas’ votes for Bush/Cheney. This could get interesting; if Bush were to lose those 32 votes, then the outcome of Florida would be meaningless, and we’d be congratulating President Gore.

The other interesting thing is that the Republicans could very well be forced into a position of defending an antiquated and silly part of the Constitution (the Electoral College, and its ability to swing differently than the popular vote) while fighting another antiquated and silly part of the Constitution (the Twelfth Amendment’s proscription against Electors voting for two delegates from the same state). Then again, Dubya passed a law mandating manual recounts in Texas, yet is fighting manual recounts in Florida, so it wouldn’t surprise me one lick.

Shocking! The Harlem Globetrotters, erstwhile showboats and owners of the longest “winning streak” in basketball, lost a game yesterday to Michigan State! It’s like someone decked the clown.

Peter has used eQuill to mark up the county-by-county map of how the election turned out. What a cool way to share information… has anyone else replied with their own marked-up map?

There’s a service pack out to Internet Explorer 5.5, which seems to be stable (at least in my use). Microsoft’s got a list of the fixes; to download it, use Windows Update.

A product and a service which both demonstrate why the dot-com frenzy has died down: a web browser that displays six pages simultaneously, as walls of a cube, and a service that tries to map the entire web onto the continent of Antarctica. I can’t imagine why either exist… is there someone who can’t figure out how to have six browser windows open? Someone who sees the natural logic of inflicting a geographical construct (based on a continent nobody is familiar with, too!) upon the Web? I just don’t get it.

Netscape 6 is finally out… and still has problems, the same ones that I reported to the Mozilla group throughout the beta that they didn’t fix. And while I’m typing this in, I’m getting a horizontal scrollbar despite the TEXTAREA having wrap set to “soft.” All this was discovered in the first two minutes of me using it; I wonder what else I’ll discover when I have time tonight to delve deeper…

OK, another Netscape 6 thing: it still refuses to connect to my HTTPS WebMail server. Does anyone out there know why? I’d love to know… it doesn’t give an error message, nothing, it just stops trying to load.

(I also wonder if Neale has seen the way that wetlog looks in Netscape 6? Alas, I see he has.)

I bought a new toy this week. There’s now enough compelling medical content out there that it was time to upgrade from my 2 Mb Palm V; I thought I was going to get the Palm Vx, but the Clie caught my eye. So far, so good — I like the feel (it’s slightly smaller), and love the omnipresent Sony jog dial.

A week or two back, I pointed to a news article about a father who left his two-year-old son in his truck, went hunting, and came back to find his son wasn’t there anymore. Unfortunately, they’ve now found the son’s body; it also looks like they’re looking at the father as a suspect.

What a bad precedent to set — now every bride and groom are going to expect a tank escort, or at least a Harrier flyover…

The newest nightly build from the folks at Mozilla finally renders the tables on this page correctly (or at least nearly correctly)! It only took them a few years… I wonder if the final Netscape 6.0 will also include these fixes.

Speaking of Mozilla, there’s been a great pissing contest over this past week which began when O’Reilly author David Flanagan penned a piece noting that Netscape’s newest offering won’t be as devoted to web standards as it claims to be. MozillaZine chieftan Chris Nelson then wrote a response, seemingly an attack on anyone who’s ever had anything negative to say about the browser project; the last salvo was a terse and reasoned reply from Jeffrey Zeldman, in the name of the Web Standards Project. And granted, most people who’ve read Q for any length of time know I don’t like Mozilla much, but how can anyone take MozillaZine seriously with that damn distracting “Punch the Monkey” ad on most pages?

It’s shocking how little regard for well-established law dumbass, right-wing school boards can have.

I’m done, done, done with the neonatal ICU, for the next year at least. Friday night was my last night on call there, and I witnessed possibly the most peaceful death ever. A few-hour-old child with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia was on full support — a high-frequency oscillating ventilator, pressors (drugs that help the heart maintain function), etc. — and his brain (or, more appropriately, brain stem) just gave up. His parents had signed an order for no heroic measures, so we just watched as his tracings slowed and finally stopped. It was sad, but intensely surreal as well; the few in-hospital deaths I’ve witnessed have involved frenzied resuscitation attempts, so to see one that happens so calmly is strange.

Alls that I’ve got to say is… holy shit. I was on call last night, and thank goodness the neonatal ICU was relatively quiet, letting my team and I sit and watch as the results came in. Florida’s going to Gore… no, wait, it’s too close to call… no, wait, it’s Bush’s state, and he’s the President… no, wait, it’s a matter of a few hundred votes… and here we are.

I’m tired as hell and want to go to sleep now, but I’m glued to my television. We’ll see what happens.


Do your part. Make your choice. Don’t leave it to others to make the decisions about who will run the United States and your local governments; have your own say in the matter. There’s no good excuse not to vote.

I’m continuing to tinker with the redesign; if anything breaks (or if you just feel like it), feel free to pass on your opinion.

Have you ever downloaded one of those annoying, branded versions of Internet Explorer? The ones with corporate logos in place of the rotating globe, pre-set home pages and favorites, and not-so-subtle reminders of who made them? Turns out you can dump the branding, easily.

The District of Columbia has started allowing residents to pay $10 for vanity license plates that read “Taxation Without Representation,” protesting the fact that D.C. pays Federal taxes without having a voting representative in the Federal government. While I agree with the sentiment, I don’t think that license plates are the place for political statements, and at least one Federal judge agrees.

Repent, repent, the end is nigh. I wonder how much Yahoo paid to be the new Boardwalk?

I’m glad to see not only that Sean Elliott has returned for another year in a San Antonio Spurs uniform, but that he’s also playing really well. Thirty one minutes, seven for ten from the field, three for four from behind the three-point line, for 18 points, all from a guy who went through a kidney transplant a little over a year ago — that’s terrific.

“Choose me, stuff me, stitch me, fluff me, dress me, name me, take me home.” Priceless.

Did Dubya deceive a Texas prosecutor in an attempt to avoid answering questions about his past DWI arrest and drug use? It’s interesting that this all came up in relation to a summons for Bush to serve on a DWI trial jury. More interesting is that, when asked how he felt about the alleged drunk driver, Bush replied, “I probably want to hang him and go home.” To me, this whole flap is just further confirmation that Bush wants to take stances on issues that are diametrically opposed to his own behavior on those very same issues; Jacob Weisberg seems to sum up my own feelings as best as any columnists have to date.

What’s pissing me off the most is that the media seems to want to focus on who “leaked” the DWI information, rather than its merits. Who the fuck cares who gave it to the press? The only thing that matters is if it’s true or not; if it is, then the way that it got to the public’s attention is meaningless. It reminds me of the scene in The American President when Michael Douglas, as President, has just bombed Libya, and the press wants to ask questions about his relationship with Annette Bening. His reply: “Keep your eye on the ball, people.”

What do y’all think of the redesign? Not radical, I admit, but something new nonetheless…

A little bit of a redesign tonight — I was getting bored with things, and felt like playing around. Lemme know what you think…

Bart Aronson has a good Writ column on violence in sports, and how we’ve grown to accept it. Clemens throwing a bat at Piazza, Tyson biting off part of Holyfield’s ear, Sprewell choking P.J. Carlissimo… all examples of things that would have been prosecuted if you or I did them to someone on the street, yet all things that are accepted as part of sport.

Dinkism of the day:

“So prescription drugs will be an ingritable part of the plan.”

Spanish fisherman caught a 275-pound, seven-foot-long taningia danae this week, prompting people the world over to ask, “What the hell is a taningia danae?” (It’s a member of the squid family, but it lacks feeding tentacles, instead having bioluminescent organs at the end of two arms.)

My original hometown paper pulled Doonesbury this past Wednesday because the strip repeated the assertion that Dubya has used cocaine. (Check out the strip here, although I don’t know how long they keep their strip archives up.)

More D-Dubya-I news: it turns out that Bush lied about the arrest incident when he told Wayne Slater, reporter for the Dallas Morning News, that he had not been arrested since 1968. This is exactly why the arrest matters — it’s an issue of trust.

I also love that Bush claims he didn’t speak of the arrest publicly because he didn’t want to set a bad example for his kids. What’s a worse example, lying about your past or owning up to being human? As Gary Kamiya puts it, “Just how telling your daughters that you were arrested, booked and humiliated will entice them down a six-for-the-road lifestyle is not clear. Nor is it obvious why allowing the press to inform your daughters of your reckless past is a preferable parenting technique.”

Once again, Michael Moore asks the questions about Dubya that should be asked. How many people do you know that have been arrested three times? How many of them qualify to be President?

Thankfully, FindLaw has provided the arrest and DUI record for Dubya’s youthful indiscretion.

Dahlia Lithwick’s back with her Supreme Court Dispatches, this time about a case pitting the Army Corps of Engineers against states’ rights to control their own ponds and lakes. (Best quote: “Congress must save the birds so we may kill them.”) The thing I love about her is that they’re not just about the cases before the Court, they’re about the people in the Court. This week, it’s about a poor deputy solicitor general who got reamed by Rehnquist.

While I’m glad that Dave Winer and his people have finally brought Referrer Logs to the Manila masses, I find it a little interesting how much their version looks like the referrer log tool that I wrote for Manila. I’ll take it as flattery. :)

Hey! What happened to the attachments on my discussion group messages? Some of the messages have binary attachments; none of them are showing up as available for download. (See here and here; both should have lines in the headers offering downloads.) Fuck.