<M <Y
Y> M>

: In recent years I've had absolutely no energy for April Fool's Day jokes (there was contention on r.a.if that Degeneracy was an April Fool's Day joke, but it's not; like all my games, it just happens to have many of the properties of an April Fool's Day joke). This is weird because I've had lots of energy for lots of other things, even other things that I do on April first! I think it was watching the unfolding of Scott's gala 1999 joke, winner of the LinuxToday Joke d'Or, that killed it for me.

Of course, immediately after making that revelation is the perfect time to spring my brilliant April Fool's Day joke on you all. Unfortuantely, I have no such joke.

: What my mother did while Crummy was down:

I've been boiling big pots of water trying to get the spa to heat up faster so I can soak in it.

My mother is a genius!

: Kevin tells me he used to do this sort of thing, way back when.

: These braces have finally broken my awful habit of biting my nails, a habit I've had for about as long as I've had both fingernails and teeth. This therapy works by the astounding new principle of making it COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE for my teeth to cut keratin.

: Most of the static content and CGIs should work now; there is still some stuff I haven't fixed, though. eCow took forever to fix; bleah.

By the way, you can now email me at leonardr@crummy.com in addition to leonardr@segfault.org.

: The ultimate in biometrics:

we should take advantage of cartesian dualism and make computers out of non-physical stuff that we can access only through our pineal glands

: I'm spending my idle moments making my log analysis software slice and dice data in more interesting ways. One thing I just added was analysis of 404 errors. I've discovered that I'm getting a surprising number of 404s of the following strange form:


Now, I don't need this page to tell me someone's up to no good, started causing trouble 'round my neighborhood. There's a common CGI script called formmail.pl which lets you send mail through a web browser, and there are robots (the sinister Microsoft URL Control again) which scour the web looking for unprotected formmail.pls to use as spam relays.

My question is, is there anyone interested in getting the output of a script I would write, called formmail.pl, which grabs information about anyone who accesses it? I don't care enough to actually wreak my own revenge, but I'm happy to provide information to those who enjoy such things. John Ashcroft, are you listening?

: My latest triumph is code that extracts the query strings from search engine referers so that the same query string from different search engines will be counted as the same sort of referer. Coincidentally, this also makes it much easier to look for Disturbing Search Requests (TM), such as "not keeping passover fetish porn" ("More, more!", she cried. "More leavened bread!"), "pictures of actual pimps" (damn fake pimps!) and "free cam picture girl iran Iranian picture" (act now for hot sharia babes!). However, I think it's only fair to also highlight search requests for which Crummy was probably very helpful, such as "pictures of home appliances", "are hedgehogs illegal in california?", "random pokey", and "why is steven wolfram so crazy?".

There's also an in-between category, where Crummy has something that is fun and which pertains to what you were looking for, but is not what you were really looking for. Examples of this include "michigan j. frog music full song", "mcsweeney's journal", "seinfeld music mp3", and by far the most popular search result run against Crummy: "captain planet". This is my favorite type of search result; it contains the right mixture of helpfulness and mischief.

: More DSR:

: Scott sent me this link, where you can hear User Friendly's Iliad talk about the infamous April Fool's Day joke. It's about halfway in; Scott says there are funny slides, and there's an implication of some sort on Iliad's part that there are slides, but the camera never shows them so you won't lose much by going audio-only instead of video. Mike: if you're desperate for cheap thrills you can listen to that and hear Iliad mention you in front of a large audience. I am not mentioned, which is only fair as I had nothing to do with it.

: Incredibly mini photo wire roundup:

: Countercounterpoint/Countercountercounterpoint: James Lileks vs. David Mehnert.


[Stack drops his Walkman on the floor]
Dan: "Breakin' stuff, huh?"
Stack: "You're next!"

: Another thing I learned from my referer logs: there's a new search engine called Teoma, and the first action of anyone on a new search engine is to search for their name. In this way I get glimpses of people I know (Mike Popovic), even people I haven't talked to for a long time (Darius Gandhi, Kym Taborn).

: Leonard Ego Inflation Time: Camille says my songs are "lovely", especially Interesting Places to Die. Thank you, Camille!

Also, wynand says I'm "still wildly amusing". I don't think I've ever heard of wynand (though he looks a bit like Dan Helfman), but his high opinion of me inflates my ego, which is the point of this entry.

Finally, getting a bit desperate, robotfindskitten is vaguely alluded to in this review of BBC systems. Will I stop at nothing? Well, I stopped just short of nothing, there, so probably.

: DSR: steve ballmer jew

: Perhaps apropos the previous entry, today on Salon Premium:

Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories -- many of them lunatic -- fill the pages of Egypt's government-run press.

Oh, for the days of reasoned and dispassionate state-sponsored anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

: DSR: what do you call a person who craves s*x? If you're going to search for it, search for the actual word!

The other day I saw a truck of the "Steven Gould Corporation". They do packaging material, apparently.

Steve Ballmer is Jewish, apparently. I didn't know that!

: For some reason there are a lot of boats in the bay today. I don't know why. Maybe they're dredging for a body?

: Multiple inheritance for Java. Motto: "The net interprets any arbitrary design decision as damage, and routes around it.", or possibly "Information wants to be subject to Nixon's triangle."

: I fixed NewsBruiser searching, and added to the bottom of every page a site-wide search that uses Google. I'm not sure whether or not Google wants a logo or anything on all public-facing forms that use Google. I can't find anything on their site that says they do, and after all, they get to do whatever they want with the search results.

I still haven't fixed the big thing, which is the rather obvious fact that these entries are timestamped EST and I'm on NST.

: Test of timezone fix.

: Test of better time zone system.

: Excellent! NewsBruiser (my local copy; it's not in CVS yet) can now have a timezone set for each notebook. Can't really do anything about the SSI includes at the bottom, without using a timezone-setting wrapper script. Which I will now write.

: OK, that takes care of the script. Funny how little things can annoy you for years and then you take a little time to fix them and they're gone and not annoying you anymore.

: Java Class of the Day: BadKind

: Sorry; there was a problem with the time zone code I added which I couldn't fix for a while.

Jellyfish ahoy! Sumana wants me to talk about the jellyfish. There were seven or eight jellyfish we saw washed up on the beach, in varying stages of dissolving. I'd never seen a dead jellyfish before. I don't know whether these jellyfish beachings are a common occurrence, because I'd only been to that beach before in the evenings. Some of the specimens had organelles visible inside the dome, but none of them had their tentacles.

In my Oceans class I learned that jellyfish decompose very rapidly. Next to one of the jellyfish we discovered some yellowish foam which didn't look like sea foam, and hypothesized that it was decomposed jellyfish.

That is the jellyfish story.

: DSR: dude where's my car slash fanfic

: I took advantage of the new time zone code to change Susanna's diary to post Romanian timestamps. From her latest dispatch:

Susie (in Romanian): Do you know the Hotel TiboTours?
Stupid Lady: I don't speak English.
Susie (still in Romanian): We speak Romanian. Can you tell us where the Hotel is?
Stupid Lady: Sorry, I studied French and Russian.

: There's a new version of gPhoto out. Too bad my camera is dead! Stupid camera!

: Oh, and the other thing: the time zone code remembered about the time change on Sunday, even though I forgot all about it. It says something that I can write code that remembers things better than I do.

: Office scuttlebutt has it that the boats are all fishing for flounder. Apparently it's flounder season. I've been out of the loop on these matters ever since my subscription to Flounder Season: The Quarterly Journal of Whether or Not It's Flounder Season lapsed.

: Novel Ways to Burn the Flag: First in a Series

: Woohoo! Big Lebowski Quote Machine! With often-from-the-same-part-of-the-movie-as-the-quotes-are-from screenshots!

: Started up Daily Pokey again. Also restarted the weekly cron that gets Pokey from the archives, so your Dada Pokey experience will once again be kept up to date. Working on a cool log analysis program inspired by something I read on Boing Boing. Listening to my new (old) Foo Fighters CD. I didn't mention that I bought 6 CDs on Sunday, including a replacement for the Weezer CD that Susanna may or may not have stolen from me. The Presidents came out with a third album before breaking up; that was nice of them. And there's a new TMBG out.

: Behold robotfindskitten on the iPaq!

: Pete Peterson II informs the world:

There are actually 4 presidents albums, one is live, and then they got back together to make a fourth one which was released some time last year, I think.

I think I have the live one (haven't listened to it yet; I'm saving it for my trip to Bakersfield); it has the cheap-ass photo montage look that says "live album".

: Kevin is back from Vegas (you didn't even know he was in Vegas, since he never updates his weblog), and claims to have won about $300 through the technique of playing every five-dollar slot exactly once. He brought back souvenirs for Stack, Dan, and myself: the newsletter of the Liberace Foundation, obtained from the very Liberace Museum!


After construction is complete be sure to stop by the new Liberace Café. In the morning, you might want to try some of our specialty cofee with a muffin or bagel. During the lunch hour, treat yourself to a delicious sandwish or maybe a tasty salad. Then if time permits, in the afternoon you won't be able to resist a freshly baked cookie with milk or perhaps a soda. Needless to say, whatever time you may be passing through we will have an Epicurean delight waiting just for you!

Be still, my heart.

: Kevin also says that the casting company mentioned in I was a Teenage Punk Rock Extra is in fact the same one he used to work for, and passes along this funny sign he saw on the way to Vegas.

Yes, I am now mantaining Kevin's weblog on his behalf!

: Got mail from Chris DiBona. He can't find the Segfault data anywhere. I'm going to consider my options and write them up on the segfault.org home page.

: Apparently there are people who think it's funny to use "(.*)@crummy\.com" as their email address when signing up for Yahoo accounts; ever since David started directing all crummy.com and segfault.org mail to me, I've been getting that Yahoo 'erring on the side of caution, we are resetting all your don't-spam-me preferences in case you didn't really mean to unset them the first time'. Since my email account is the one which would be getting all that spam, I'm not happy about this.

: Got a Noodle design review today. I'm pretty sure it will go well.

: It went well, because Noodle is great!

: My mother on jellyfish:

I read in the paper about some little unfortunate critters washing up-- not jellyfish but a relative. After I saw on your log that you had seen some, I tried to find the article so I could send it to you but no such luck. I looked through both Friday's and Saturday's Californian. I do remember that it said the stingers on their tentacles are not strong enough to penetrate human skin. Apparently they are an open ocean creature, where they are happy unless a freak wind causes them to drift ashore. I felt sorry for them.

: Behold the /stats/ directory! Contains recent (updated every 6 hours) and all-time (updated every day) stats on accessed pages, query destinations (the BoingBoing idea), and an MP3 hit parade for the hosted MP3s. I have no idea why the two most popular MP3s on my site are "Jake's Birthday Party" and "Jake's Birthday Party Drum Loop".

I now have grandiose dreams for, eg., an automatic DSR machine which learns from experience which search results are most disturbing.

: Never used:

Jake Berendes
Simi Valley
Jake Berendes
With picante
El Monte

: Doh; the thing what decides on the filenames isn't timezoned, apparently.

: Working a bit on Segfault recovery; I've transformed the database dump into Formats I Can Use (TM) and am currently trying to figure out a way to get stuff out of the Wayback Machine. It looks like most of the stories are in there, which is a good sign.

1406 stories were published to Segfault over a span of slightly over three years.

: OK, I've got it working and not bothering archive.org that much. Looks like about 90% of the stories are in the archive.

Ah, the good old days:

I'm going to start an Internet company. It sounds impressive, but it's really not difficult to do; the question "How do I start an Internet company?" reduces to the question "How do I figure out a way to lose a lot of money very quickly?", and it just so happens that I am an expert on losing money.

--From "Calling All Investors", a 1999 story

: Ok, I recovered 1170 stories and I know that 233 are missing, which means there are 3 stories that my code missed. Odd; more likely my original count was off. Anyway, the stories are mirrored here (caution: 130K list) as a temporary measure, and a list of missing stories is here.

: A very dedicated bowler.

: It would appear that my crons are not being run. I'll have to have a word with someone. The word will be "pickles".

: Yay! New whale!

: Interesting Search Requests:

lembas recipe: There's a recipe?

nethack quiz: A good idea, and there is one, but it's in Japanese.

dead jellyfish: Indeed. There's finally news articles about them, though they seem to describe another, much smaller and more numerous organism which Sumana and I also saw on Saturday.

: I cunningly recovered another 70 or so Segfault stories from the Internet archive. There are only 161 missing stories now, and that's not counting (well, falsely counting) the 6 or so I've received from the original authors and not put up yet.

: If Reddish Purple vs. Bluish Purple is just too nonpartisan for you, why not try this version, which also has a better map?

: DSR: DMV crosstitch, cross stitch astronomy pattern

I get suprisingly many requests for cross-stitch patterns of various odd kinds; cross stitch scooby doo free patterns was another recent one. It makes me wonder whether the cross stitch community is actually a representational subset of the polity at large, such that you have lovers of smartass bumper stickers who want the same experience in a cross-stitch (I can't imagine a DMV cross-stitch saying anything complimentary about the DMV), cross-stitch/astronomy buffs, cross-stitching Cartoon Network-watching stoners, etc.

My father, not the stereotypical cross-stitch producer, did cross-stitch as a hobby, but as far as I know it was always the sappy kind with roosters and inspirational messages. When did the market expand to such an extent? Was it the poster for Fargo that did it?

I personally would love a cross-stitch of this so-unrealistic-it's-kitchy-yet-completely-real picture, but I doubt cross-stitch has a high enough resolution for it.

: One Tim Stoop recommended PHP-Nuke for the Segfault rewrite. The author of PHP-Nuke lives in Venezuela and the current top story is on the current crisis there.

: I'm not terribly excited about the new Google API because their Terms Of Service prohibit me from doing "meta-searches", and even though I'm not sure what "meta-searches" are, I hate being prohibited from doing meta-anything.

: Googlewhack I found as someone else's search request: fgebhfgehc nagvonpgrevny (rot13ed as usual; contains a proper noun and as such is invalid under Hoyle's Rules of Googlewhacking (revised)).

: Congratulations to the Subversion team on their latest triumph, by which I mean "milestone release".

: Word Replacement Headline Watch (and Extraneous Quotation Marks Headline Watch; a double header!): 'Cracks' in China's Three Gorges dam should be "'Cracks' in China's Three Stooges dam".

: New crocodile!

"Other types of crocodile are much larger." Don't be so apologetic!

: Thanks to my position on Cam's list of weblogs I found this nifty weblog watch, on which I am occasionally featured. Enterprising nanotechnologies are being sold by software piracy!


Given this sorry lot, The Daily Californian wishes voters luck in choosing.

: Wow, CSS is really cool! I got email from Rajarshi Guha, who set up a NewsBruiser installation and wanted to get it to work with CSS. I'm implementing that now (using CSS files he gave me) and it's a lot of fun.

: I went a little CSS crazy, both in terms of abuse of CSS on Crummy and in terms of the customizability of NewsBruiser through of CSS. So far I've defined 10 CSS classes.

: Aaaaand... the image link thing is productized. Time to commit to CVS and cut another release.

: OK, new stuff is in CVS (commit message). I'll do a release tomorrow after I update all the docs.

: Test.

: NewsBruiser 1.1.0 is out. Get it while it's hot.

: Unfortunately, this intruiging document is available only through Google cache.

: Kevin: "I feel that solving a problem is more interesting than finding a name for the solution. I realize that I stand in the minority of the open source community on this."

: I went through emails I've gotten and recovered 38 more Segfault stories. I think I'll do that once a week or so; it's pretty boring work.

: C'mon! Ask the tough question!

(The tough question being "If every time particular copyrights are about to expire Congress extends copyright terms, as happened throughout the 20th century, doesn't that violate the spirit of the 'limited time' clause?" The corollary question being: "Will there be a point at which your clients will say 'OK, that's enough' and stop lobbying for another extension?")

I thought of that question as soon as I saw the headline of the article, and read the whole article hoping it would be asked, and it wasn't. Bah!

: I wasn't planning on including this photo in a roundup, because it seemed like a really cheap shot, but after I found it, Mike Popovic also found it and told me about it, so why not?

: Well, Uncle Sam and Uncle Gray have cashed my tax checks, so I'm the poorest I've been in a while. I don't understand why my witholdings were so far off from what I actually owed in taxes.

: Went with Sumana to see a speech by Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct. It was pretty interesting; assuming one limits the universe of discourse to hour-long speeches about the past tense, it was one of the most interesting speeches one could possibly make. However, more interesting and fun was hanging out in a college cafe with Sumana, Adam Parrish, and Adam's friend Josh. I had more mediocre tiramisu. This is MEDIOCRE TIRAMISU WATCH, day 1,306! America held hostage... by mediocre tiramisu!

: Playing Illuminati tonight with Jason and Manoj. Haven't done that for quite a while. I need to practice, as I'll probably be playing a lot of Illuminati next week with Susanna.

: Sumana finds amusement in my pronunciation of the words "dinosaur", "whale", and "vegetable", so today I made some ASCII drawings of each to cheer her up:

                      / o_|
                     / /\ --Hello, Sumana! Rawr!
                    / /      . -  . -                _____
       ___----_____/ /      .   \. / .               \ / /
      -             /          __\/______________    /  /  
     /             /          /                  \  /  /
    / /  _____   _/          |   o                \/  /
   / /+ ||    | ||           |                       /
 _/ / | ||    | ||    Rawr!-- ========>            _/    v 
(__/  `_oo    `_oo            \___________________/    oOo@()-- Rawr!

: Manoj won the Illuminati game, despite the fact that I had by far the best set of cards. Oh well. This breaks my streak of about 10 wins in at-work Illuminati games.

Due to various innovations I have developed, chief among them being tying the floss to the little plastic floss threader, I've been able to get my nightly flossing time down from 15 minutes to 4 minutes. This makes my daily tooth care routine much less onerous.

: Pete Peterson II has oggs from a live performance of Last Transmission From Starbase XY003. I haven't listened to them yet, as I don't have an OGG player set up, but hey, it's Starbase XY003, so how can you go wrong? By not listening to it, that's how!

Update: There are MP3s as well.

: I don't know these people. I suspect that they are stock footage people, who live in poses of such generic applicability that their lives are completely devoid of semantics. ("Managing collaborative software development? I thought we were providing e-solutions for virtual business networks!")

Also, their laptops are cooler than mine, so I'm jealous.

: Thirdhand from my mother comes this interesting tidbit:

There will be a visable pass tonight of the Space Shuttle and the Space Station. You will be able to see the Space Shuttle first rising in the northwest at about 7:55:33 PM followed by the Space Station about 30 seconds later. They will pass northeast of us at about 50 degrees of elevation from the northeastern horizon. Both will travel to the east southeast and disappear from sight about two and a half minutes after 8.

That reading is apparently for Bakersfield; go here to see where and when to look if you don't live in Bakersfield.

: I couldn't find either the space shuttle or the ISS. Bah! I saw Mars, though, and another planet (Jupiter?).

: I'm getting help for NewsBruiser's CSS from world-famous CSS expert Todd Fahrner, who sits across the cube from me. He pointed me here, and, strangely, here. Meanwhile, Mike Sussman is pointing out the page of silly Subversion logos, most of which involve bananas for reasons I do not comprehend. And finally a DSR for you to puzzle over: file permissions penguin mints.

: FHW: "U.S. stocks up on upbeat view of Microsoft results". Upbeat view of Microsoft results! Buy in bulk and save!

: Instapundit discovers Paul Conrad, and it ain't pretty.

: I'm writing this from the Internet kiosk at Berkeley. Sumana has a Java applet that runs SSH, so she was finally able to view Seth's (Cyberware-censored) diary from this kiosk. In a little while the two of us are going off to see Merrily We Roll Along; I'll let you know how it goes.

: Merrily We Roll Along turned out not to be very interesting, so we left at intermission. I fear that I just watched Degeneracy: The Musical and that my reactions are similar to the reactions of others upon playing Degeneracy. However, there were several good things about the production. The main one was that the Dave Foley-esque guy who played Charlie stole the show. Charlie was my favorite character, and had by far the best song that we heard. There was also a guy who played a lawyer and who looked and dressed exactly like Seth, except that he was black. In other doppleganger news, the female lead looked and spoke exactly like my cousin Shannon, except that Shannon is a lot taller.

Anyway... tomorrow afternoon I'm picking up Susanna from the airport. Welcome back, Susanna!

: I spent the evening writing a magic system for the new game. I started out with the sample Enchanter-style magic system that comes with Inform and that I used in Guess the Verb!, but now there's almost none of it left. It has almost the same interface, but the implementation is completely different.

The main change I had to make was to add support for NPCs who could learn and cast spells, the same as the player. The default system had two big things standing in the way of this:

  1. Every spell had an object containing the number of times the player had memorized it. I moved this into the object representing a spellcaster's memory.
  2. When you memorized a spell it would change the spell's location in the object tree, making it a child of your memory object. The location of the spell in its spellbook was a mere reference to the spell object. Now it's the other way around; spells are always located in the object tree underneath the spellbooks or whatever containing them, and people who memorize spells get references to the spell objects in their memories.

I really like text adventures with spellcasting systems, and this one's going to be great; lots of spells, lots of fun magic toys, lots of incredibly evil puzzles. Mwahaha!

: Joshua Barratt, if you read this please send me email. A friend of yours from UCLA is looking for you. Is it true that you have defected to Canada? Please advise.

: I suppose I never realized it because he spends all his time messing with CSS, which to me has always seemed like the "square" activity that computer programming seems like to the public at large, but Todd Fahrner is a really funny guy. One of his recent commit messages:

internal reorganization into functional modules to facilitate growth, change, overrides, etc

: My mother hits the big 5-0 today.

: FHW: Gates Takes Stand in Antitrust Case. He's against it.

: Susanna is here and healthy.

: Susanna's showing me her souvenirs from Romania, which I can't describe because many of them are gifts for people who read this weblog. For four months she's been using as a laundry bag the grocery bag from the time I took her grocery shopping just before she left.

Also, I found this from WIGU: Amy Hughes makes amazing things out of Lego, and it's Lego-scale stuff, not hugely outsized Lego equivalents of bitmaps or whatever. Like Jeffrey Rowland before me, I make no apologies for loving this stuff, because 1) it is incredibly cool, and 2) I'm spending all my spare time writing a spellcasting system for Inform.

: Photo roundup (I found that these links go stale after a month; I need to figure out what to do about it):

: The megamouth (megachasma pelagios) is, by any objective measure, the most awesome shark in existence. Rawr! They're very rare; the one that was found recently is only about the 17th specimen found. I remember (as does Susanna) the preserved megamouth in the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. It's in a big wooden box with a glass top, and if you're a little kid you don't know what's inside until you step up on the step and then there's this HUGE SHARK with a HUGE MOUTH looming beneath you! Quite an experience.

There's a whole book about the megamouth, and various cute megamouth drawings on the web. Megamouth!

The mighty megamouth will be your antidote to this picture. If you click, the Terrordactyls will have won!

: DSR: quote on the power of the spoken word including reference to the animal penguin "If only I can make my writing stilted enough, this futuristic com-puting device will understand for what I seek!"

: More megamouths: fossil megamouths, history of the finds (the one in the Natural History museum is the second one to be caught), and more news about the recent find. "I checked it out on the internet and it sure looked like a megamouth." The megamouth and the Internet--together at last! Hey, The Megamouth and the Internet would be a good book title.

: Oh no! Amy Hughes took down her beautiful Lego church and all of her other Lego projects! Amy blames hostile "cretins" for overloading her site with too much traffic. To said cretins I say: bah!

: Kris talks about his megamouth experience, and his preference for the basking shark.

I bet just about every geek of my age or younger who grew up in LA has a megamouth memory. This would be a good subject for an anthology.

Update: I now have a mental image of Robin Leach saying "Until next time, here's to megamouth memories and champagne dreams!"

: I was working on a horribly Rube Goldberg-esque scheme I devised to have crons on one machine trigger activities on the machine that hosts Crummy, so as to compensate for the brokenness of crons on the machine that hosts Crummy. However, I've since discovered that David fixed crons, and they've been working since the 20th. Huzzah!

[Comments] (1) : Boy, that Seth David Schoen. When he's not talking about the devious plans of The Man to reduce us all to digital chattel, he's complaining that his arms hurt. I tell ya, it's always arms and The Man with Seth.

: Bill Griffith must have a really long lead time; today's cartoon is a plea to save the Musée Méchanique, which as everyone knows has already been saved.

: Special AP Photo Wire Roundup: Gaaah!

: The Knapsack Problem has a brief, polite, saying-bad-things-by-quoting-another-review-which-says-the-bad-things review over at a freeware/shareware/abandonware game site called The Underdogs. I'm not complaining, but (complain complain), why not review and link to one of my real games? But I kid The Underdogs.

: Back from another orthodontist's appointment. I now have little plastic chains over my teeth to pull them back into the space left by the molar extractions. I hope my teeth aren't going to be sore tomorrow.

: I'm in Bakersfield, and having fun. Among other things, I went to Barnes and Noble to cash in the gift certificates I got for Christmas. I got From Dawn to Decadence for $9.99. This is probably symbolic of something.

When I get back to Frisco I will dispense with a liberal hand the gifts I've been acquring for people (mainly Sumana and Kevin). Stay tuned.

: I neglected to mention my most mega purchase: I acquired a little four-track recorder for a mere $99. I've finally decided that waiting for the kind of recording software I want to hit Linux, or making idle plans for writing such software, is not a substitute for actually recording songs. Thus, the four-track. The cheapo four-track doesn't have manuals or anything, but how hard can it be to operate a four-track? It's just a cassete recorder and two muxes.

Another advantage of the four-track: I can take it down to LA when I go today to visit Adam, and we can do some songs together.

: I keep forgetting what I've mentioned and what I haven't. As I mentioned, I went down to LA yesterday and hung out with Adam, and now I'm back. Kris dropped by and the three of us wrote and recorded a great new song called "After School Special", which I'll put up once I mix it onto an MP3. I played it for Susanna, who likes it.

I'm taking Susanna to Target and buying her, as a belated Christmas present, whatever she needs after coming back from Romania. We'll also be developing a roll of film containing the last of Susanna's Romania pictures as well as my LA pictures, including the Big Lebowski Extravaganza! I'll try to get those scanned and up tonight.

Speaking of The Big Lebowski and those who took part in it, I was shocked and astounded during the weird West Wing marathon last week to see, in an old WW clip, a Senator played by David Huddleston.

: I realized that I wouldn't be able to actually post my LA pictures to the real web site since I'm away from my private key, so I've posted some choice photos to the backup site. Leonard Photo Roundup:

I haven't cropped these graphics yet, so be warned. Each is about 200K. Enjoy. More, and MP3, tomorrow.

: Enjoy After School Special. Kris and Adam on vocals, me on guitar. Mostly written by me and Kris.

Sumana wants me to explain muxes, which I will do eventually. I realized that a four-track uses demuxes, and not muxes, so I'll have to explain demuxes as well.

: I think it's cool that "airline", "airplane", and "airspace" are all words.

: Lyrics to After School Special. Try before you buy!

: After School Special is rocketing up the charts! Payola really works!

: Strangely, my nails are in much worse shape since I stopped biting them and started cutting them.

: In the wake of my mini-vacation I had a bit of trouble earlier grasping the concept of programming. "Wait a minute... the things I type have well-defined semantics and must conform to a particular syntax!"

: Spam: New Parental Control Software. Control your parents!

: Sumana (whom--now it can be told--I am dating) and I have gradually amassed a list of disturbing slash concepts. It's a common enough trope that I'm starting up a new occasional feature, augmenting Disturbing Search Requests with Disturbing Slash Concepts (note that there is overlap between the two). Sumana sent me a partial list of such DSC we've accumulated:

I hope you sleep well tonight.

: I've got spellcasting working in my game. Another big improvement of my system over the example one that comes with Inform is that saying CAST [SPELL] doesn't automatically remove that spell from your memory.

Now, in an Enchanter-type spellcasting system there are three kinds of result you can get from CAST [SPELL]. There's the "That's so obviously stupid/counterproductive that I'm not even going to let you do that" message, the "You cast the spell but it doesn't do anything" message, and the "You cast the spell and it does something" message, which is the only message that changes game state (the other two are only good for funny messages). Note that in the first case you didn't actually cast the spell; but the example Inform magic system will remove the spell from your memory as though you actually had cast it. In Inform terms, what I added was sort of a 'before' rule for spells (there's a before rule in the example code, but you forget the spell before it's called so it can't do this).

: The Making Of After School Special: First In A Series Of One

"The swim meet failed when the something something jailed. Who got jailed?"
"The assistant coach."
"The cheerleaders."
"Yeah! Like in that movie!"
"There was some movie where a bunch of cheerleaders went to jail."
"Did you find this movie in the regular part of the video store, or the part behind the little curtain?"

: The past few days have been days of narrow defeats. As noted in other people's weblogs, I lost two games of Scrabble by a margin of three points. I also lost a game of Illuminati to Susanna, though I won the rematch.

: Pictures from LA are up. 11 and 12 are for the upcoming Guess the Verb! tour; don't pay any heed to them yet.

Camille wrote to tell me that she finds Kris "quite attractive...or maybe it is just photogenic". Well, check this out! Sorry, Camille, but Kris is taken.

I have a habit of putting my arms around people's shoulders in pictures (1 2), which I get some guff for. I just do it to add to the camaraderie. Is that so wrong?

: Sumana says that there actually is an Oprah/Tom/Julia slash story. Must...make...witty...unrelated...observation...

The expiration date on my milk is "May 2 1833". There must be a wraparound on expiration dates or something, because it still tastes good.

: Oh, crap!

You have your trader pick up the phone and say you need a bid on 500,000 shares of Crummy.com. Crummy is trading at 7, down from 120. It has been down in a straight line. You need money. It is a place to get money. The trader on the other end, from the sell side, has no interest in buying any Crummy.com. None whatsoever. In fact, he has watched this stock go down every day. Like everybody else. He says he will bid 5 for all 500,000. But Jacobs has never ever seen a bear market. He doesn't know that's a fair bid. That's a great bid! He thinks the sell-side guy is ripping him off. So he passes. And he sells off some more of his winners to finance the loser, Crummy.com.

: Features I Want But Will Never Have: First In A Series

What I Want: Google has a 'relatedness' algorithm that, presumably, assigns a number to every pair of web pages depending on how similar those web pages are. I'm not interested for the moment in the workings of the algorithm or how accurate it is. What I wantTM is an interface to the other end of this algorithm; I want to see which pages are least similar to other pages.

Feasibility Study That Ignores The Real Problems: The web is, for all intents and purposes, connected (I don't think there are, eg., two large groups of pages such that you can't get from one group to another via hypertext links), so even if your algorithm goes by links you can get a nonzero relatedness number for any two pages. The chaotic nature of the web would ensure that most sites would not have thousands of ties for 'least relevant site' (I think this undesirable outcome is more likely for bigger sites; standard deviation of the mean distance to a site is much smaller for larger sites: any given site is about as relevant to Yahoo as is any other site. But more complex algorithms would reduce the importance of mere link distance.)

Why I'll Never Have It: The problems are threefold: first, you probably don't have infinite precision, so thousands of sites would get rounded down to zero relevance. Second, it's a lot faster to find close nodes in a graph than it is to find far nodes, so the algorithm would have to use a lot of extra index space or take a long time to run. Third, this idea is completely useless (I could be wrong; come up with a good use for this feature and win a valueless crummy.com prize!).

: From the Subversion team's status report:

Greg Stein's in town -- we'll be closing the three fs-related M12 issues, and scheduling pre-alpha and Alpha. We'll also be gettin' some of "that Good Greg Luvin'". This is a direct quote.

: I see the hand of Dan Helfman in this.

: I was right.

: One of Sumana's funnier jokes a while back was a parody of the Bruce Willis Hart's War movie poster called Hart's Bar: "Beyond caramel. Beyond peanut."

: I got two (2) great presents for Kevin:

<M <Y
Y> M>


Unless otherwise noted, all content licensed by Leonard Richardson
under a Creative Commons License.