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More Lucid, Less Confused
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26th of August 2000

     Facing a dilemma. On the scale of life or death decisions, this one is way down the list, but it has held a certain appeal. I have been a supporter and participant in the Award Sites rating system for 2+ years, and vice-versa. The IB Presents web award program has been at the top of their ratings heap since October 1999. I'm thankful and grateful.

     Recent changes in that rating system are beginning to go against principles I aspire to with IB Presents. I am concerned the efforts at setting standards are stifling innovation -- encouraging a sameness. I think it's time to join the conversation rather than sitting on the sidelines.


     Well, I did join the conversation and it went very well indeed. Valuable lesson learned. My thanks to all those involved.

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25th of August 2000

     During a fit of doldrums today, trying to talk myself into the cataract surgery I need, I was reminded of a story from my youth. A junior high music teacher taught us of self-esteem and inspiration:

     Arturo Toscanini was one of those people who turned a handicap into a blessing. He was nearsighted and, at 19, was playing cello in a small European orchestra. He couldn't see the music on the stand in front of him, so he had to memorize it.

     One day the orchestra leader became ill and young Toscanini was the only member of the orchestra who knew the score. That evening, he conducted the entire program without reference to the music. His performance was flawless. The audience applauded enthusiastically.

     Other chances to conduct followed, and Toscanini was on his way. If he hadn't been nearsighted, he might have continued playing cello instead of becoming one of the finest conductors in the world. Sometimes a stumbling block becomes a stepping-stone.

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24th of August 2000

     I was at the airport awhile back, checking in at the gate, when the counter agent asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" I said, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled and nodded knowingly, "That's why we ask."

     So it rained huh? Is that all you can say?

     My wife's new kitchen appliances arrived. She did a nice job picking them out, although I'm not quite sure about the black color. I guess I'm just used to white, or other lights, this seems completely foreign. It's probably a good thing I wasn't home during the installation process. She had to constantly stay on the servicemen to get them to do their job. They apparently just wanted to unload and go -- no hookup, no balancing, no nothing -- without her nagging. What do we pay for these days anyway? She's ready if she gets a followup phone call from customer service.

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23rd of August 2000

     Sometimes I get really confused by searches that pop up in my traffic logs. For example, someone looked for "mmmph, mmmph." In fairness, I do actually recall putting that string of text on one of my pages a few weeks ago. That's fine, the search engine worked. But why in the world is someone searching for that character string? Not just one mmmph, but two, with a comma in between. Do y'all know something I don't?

     Happy Birthday!! Good luck with the PIP.

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22nd of August 2000

     Communities of technology experts can be downright ruthless when handed the opportunity on a silver platter. Yesterday on MetaFilter (it's gone now) a poor unsuspecting sap stumbled into the wrong meta blog. Posting pure, unadulterated spam in its crudest form advertising his fledgling business, an absolute no-no on the front page at MeFi, this clueless soul was bombarded with email like Melissa redux, a flood of calls to his billable 800 phone line, and insults the size of Alaska. I have to admit it was funny while it lasted, but the pitiable low-life spamform is probably still in a haze & daze from picking the wrong group to introduce himself.

     My two partners at work are both out this week, one on vacation, the other in Dallas for professional development training. In recent years that is something we would never allow to happen, sticking the one remaining member with the entire group workload. Since our corporate merger has been delayed and delayed and delayed, it's fair to say the daily routine just ain't what it used to be. Monday was a snap, no reason to believe the rest of the week won't be also. Maybe I'll have time to install some of those nasty pranks on their desktop computers.

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21st of August 2000

     Just a few this and thats:

Joe's new look is cool. Waiting to see how he takes to Blogger. I've been holding out so far.

These people are really nice.

Kitty's foray into Flash is very intriguing indeed.

Tiger Woods is amazing. Bob May was too. Most exciting golf tournament I've seen in some time.

I actually got an email from Chris Locke. Whoa!

My wife is wonderful. The kitchen looks great.

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20th of August 2000

     I was reminded again today that I am not a handyman. I usually try to brush it off as analytical thinkers just aren't good with their hands. This weekend my wife and I are painting the kitchen in preparation for some new appliances. To get started we had to take things apart, remove stuff from the walls, unhook this and rearrange that.

     So far, so good. The painting went well, no spills or messes. Now it's time to put everything back together. Ummm. How did that go? The blades sure came off that ceiling fan a whole lot easier than they go back on. The brackets on the blinds worked once. Why won't they fit now? The under-cabinet microwave oven and coffee maker somehow changed their shape while we weren't paying attention.

     My wife picked out the new refrigerator and stove. She says they really are the latest in fancy domestic technology. They arrive next week. I hope the owner's manuals aren't too thick. I can see now I will probably have to be retrained on freezing and boiling water. Give me some good ol' HTML any day.


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When my wife and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told that the keys had been accidentally locked in. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As I watched from the passenger's side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered it was open. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "it's open!" "I know," answered the young man. "I already got that side."






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I was signing the receipt for my credit card purchase when the clerk noticed I had never signed my name on the back of the credit card. She informed me that she could not complete the transaction unless the card was signed. When I asked why, she explained that it was necessary to compare the signature on the credit card with the signature I just signed on the receipt. So I signed the credit card in front of her. She carefully compared that signature to the one I signed on the receipt. As luck would have it, they matched.


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