Day at a time, Jeff, day at a time.

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Saturday, January 13, 2001

     "These regulations point to a new era of website development. Accessibility in website design is not a crisis of confidence; it is a challenge to your creativity, knowledge, and ability to create a Web for everyone. Governments will do it, because it is our tax dollar. Companies will do it because it is a bottom line issue. You will do it because you love a challenge." — Alan Herrell, The Head Lemur, from his article entitled Accessibility: The Politics of Design now online at A List Apart.

     The blue herons that hang out around the campus pond at work are hungry. There are about a dozen, been there for ten years or more. During that time, they haven't seen the pond remain frozen for a month and don't seem to know to move on. They've pecked round holes in the ice, much like Minnesota fishermen, and make fruitless stabs at anything that wiggles. Alas, they can't get to their main source of nourishment on the bottom. They are getting weak and listless. One becomes tempted to throw out some food stuffs for them, but that isn't nature's way.

     I made one of those storTrooper thingies too. Even looked a little like me, but then I spotted scores of them all over the place and thought, too meme-y. Call me a spoil sport.

     Congrats to Jim and the Mrs.

Friday, January 12, 2001

     Happy Birthday Dr. Web! Need a jumpstart on your email queue? Sort it by sender. You're bound to see a few names that will make you go hmmm. Tip courtesy Evhead.

     Sorry about the cold. Sorry about the drain. But thanks for the tip about oatmeal. NOT part of a complete breakfast. Sounds like that goop they used at the sleep laboratory the other night to attach electrodes to my scalp. Took half a bottle of shampoo to get it out of my hair. Next time I need to clog my sink...

     I've enjoyed the MetaFilter community weblog since first discovering it last May. Very intelligent participants, timely topical issues, smoothly operating infrastructure. But when the discussion turns political, there appears to be room for only one viewpoint. Republicans / conservatives = trolls. Democrats / liberals = civil discourse. It bothers me that even the administrator isn't tolerant of opposing views. It's his site, and far be it from me to tell him how to run it (very successful the way it is). Flame-baiting appears to be perfectly acceptable when directed at the Republican agenda, but when the few GOP members step in to defend their positions, accusations of trolling immediately ensue. Phooey.

Thursday, January 11, 2001

     "You need to stop thinking of your Web pages as static files on a server and more like a collection of scripts and intelligent content that can figure out how to display itself correctly." — Jeffrey Veen, interviewed by Andy King of Continuing their discussion of Object Oriented Publishing, the conclusion is that database-driven content with templated presentation eases the developer's maintenance burden. I can dig that.

      sen·su·ous (sin-shoo-us)   adj.    ( from )

  1. Of, relating to, or derived from the senses.
  2. Appealing to or gratifying the senses.
    1. Readily affected through the senses.
    2. Highly appreciative of the pleasures of sensation.
     My. my. my.


     Uzi Nissan, an Israeli-American, is the founder and president of Nissan Computer Corp., incorporated in Raleigh, NC in 1991. Nissan registered the domain names NISSAN.COM in 1994 to help expand his computer business and NISSAN.NET in 1996 to provide Internet Services (ISP). Recently, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan North America, Inc. (the automaker), filed a lawsuit against Nissan Computer Corp. for owning NISSAN.COM and NISSAN.NET. They alleged trademark infringement and dilution in an attempt to bankrupt the Nissan Computer Company, and are now dragging them through federal court in their own back yard (Los Angeles).

     To prevent large corporations from taking control of the Internet by hijacking domain names from their rightful owners, particularly small businesses, Uzi Nissan is taking it upon himself to bring a classic case of "Reverse Domain Name Hijacking" to the public and ask you to take a stand. Nissan Computer Corp. has created a website dedicated to this matter ( Public awareness is the most effective way to fight back against giant corporations. The goal is to reach out and inform you, the public, of this ridiculous and bogus lawsuit. Remember, it can happen to you or to someone you know. No domain name will be safe if these hijackers get their way. Every deep pocket entity will be able to use the court system to bankrupt legitimate small businesses and hijack their domain names.


     Wendell had me singing Deacon Blues all day.

     If you want to know how the C-PAP machine test went, send me email. I'm too irritated and frustrated to talk about it here. Otherwise, if you don't really care (that would be just fine), this entry will self-destruct in five minutes.

Tuesday, January 9, 2001

     Traveling somewhere exotic? Want to leave a reminder for explorers 500 years from now? Hide a glass planet from The Infinity Project and you will perplex the dickens out of future finders. Project coordinators are selecting one lucky traveler each month to plant these curious icons. If hidden well, they will remain for centuries until someone stumbles across one and wonders: What is this and where did it come from? (link via MetaFilter.)

     I'm off later tonight for phase II of the sleep study. This time I get to wear a full-face mask attached to what can only be described as an elephant's trunk running to the C-PAP machine. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure sounds like a good idea for improving apnea sleep disorder, but the head gear takes a bit of getting used to.

     Day at a time, Six, day at a time. Projecting outcomes either leads to disappointment if we wish for something too hard, or unnecessary fear and stress if we worry too much before all the facts are in. Considering all possibilities is a useful preparatory exercise, but projecting conclusions we can't control makes achieving serenity highly improbable. Wait 'til you're 48.

Monday, January 8, 2001

     Version 4 of the DHTML Hierarchical Menus software by Peter Belesis of Webreference is out, and Internet Brothers has it. I spent all weekend updating the Helpware section of the site with this contemporary web navigation tool. 220 pages of conversion later, I have a sore neck, sore back, elbow and fingers. Anyway, if you encounter any problems please let me know.

     While at it, I placed all the invoking code in server side includes. Should be a big improvement to this maintenance headache for future updates. The new menuing version now supports all releases of Internet Explorer, 4.0 and above for Windows and 5.0 and above for Macintosh. It supports all 4.x releases of Netscape Navigator on Windows, but only some of the many on Macintosh, and it supports all platforms with Netscape Navigator 6.

     The first time you enter the site you may not notice any difference from the previous version. However, once the scripting code has loaded into your browser cache, subsequent page loads demonstrate significant performance enhancement. The menu arrays are now created during page load, unlike Version 3 where the menus were created after page load. This, of course, dramatically improves menu-creation speed. Hats off to Peter Belesis.


     If standard web fare seems to blend into an indistinguishable continuum, why not check out *spark-online for content that is intent on creating meaning, reaching new and deeper understanding and changing the way you look at your world. The January issue is now online.

     Here KittyKitty. Ms. Mead probably thinks I forgot all about her (hopefully my excuse above explains where I've been), but I did notice the mod 70's look. With these tired eyes, the psychedelic coloring scheme made me jump. Happy trails to you.

Sunday, January 7, 2001

Peyton Ryan - 3rd Birthday      Yesterday was my grandson's 3rd birthday. He is such a joy to be around. I never did have any kids of my own. My wife's children were already 11 and six when we got married, so I missed the infant and toddler years. I'm sure everyone says the same thing about their grandkids, but Peyton is one loving little boy. Hugs and kisses are his specialty and there are plenty to be had.

Bluzz of the Week      Sunday means Bluzz of the Week. Through this feature, I'm searching for the brightest, funniest, most controversial or otherwise intriguing comments from the previous week's forums, journals and blogs. Most things settled down after the holidays. January is usually a productive month as everyone if full of vim and vigor. If you find a true treasure you'd like to nominate for future Bluzz of the Week, even if you wrote it yourself, please let me know.

     This week's selection comes from an austere site. No fancy art or graphics, just great writing and plenty of it. Simply titled Mop, Anne, the author, presents vignettes and snippets of life in a narrative style. You'll laugh, and definitely relate to her latest story about a relationship that wasn't meant to be. Thanks to Harrumph! and Astoundingweb for helping me find this jewel. Here are a few exceprts:

     "Okay, so what I'm trying to say is, I got dumped a few weeks ago. Only it wasn't really dumped, because we weren't really dating. Only we were. But only for two weeks. Which was really only one week, and then a week of unreturned phone calls and weird tones of voice and empty reassurances and casual and probably subconscious insensitivity. And then the phone call. And then it was over."

     "So, I met him for coffee at 4 o'clock, and I gave him back his keys immediately, so if that was all he wanted, he could've gotten his coffee to go and been outta there at 4:06. However, odd as this may sound, he stayed. We talked, he found me devastatingly charming, I found him tolerable. No, actually, he held his own with me quite well. Eventually, he decided he was hungry, and asked if I was. I wasn't, seeing as it was the day after Thanksgiving and I had already eaten far more leftovers than anyone has a right to eat, but I figured, either I don't eat now, and I eat later, or I eat now, and don't eat later, and if I eat now, this date/nondate will continue, which would be nice, so I might as well just bloody well eat now."

     "He's not a bad guy, though. At least he called me. At least he told me what was going on, instead of just never speaking to me again. For that, I am thankful. And, if nothing else, we had a near-perfect first date. I mean, he got all moon-eyed at me and everything. And we voted for the All-Star Team in the lobby of the theater (we saw The Cell, which I think I can say with complete confidence was a movie made entirely around Jennifer Lopez' custom-made red bodysuit — ribbed, for his pleasure)." — Mop








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