Lucid Confusion

Presented by Internet Brothers

Sunday, April 1, 2001

     I have succumbed to the Power of Jakob. I will admit Step One right here, right now. I am powerless over usability, my web site has become unmanageable. The temptation of beautiful color and art, fancy typography and CSS compatibility simply became too much for me. Design aesthetic kept me up late at night leading to a painful deterioration of my will to please and straining my sanity.

     I was suckered in by the Zeldmans and Champs of the world. I was drugged by the playfulness of Mead, the airy structure of Jenett, and the hope for salvation of my humanity by faith in a Head Lemur. I aspired to the compelling beauty offered by the mono-tonal delicacy of Jann or the fine tabled lines of Susan. The two Tomeks even made Kansas City sound like designer haven. Kansas City? C'mon! The scripting prowess of the mysterious Bakiwop almost had me brainwashed. Well phooey on all that.

     No more ontological fisting here. Jakob is the Almighty. Design is Satanic. Look what it's done to the luscious Amber Eden and Founder Diva. The long trail of Lucifer's casualties spreads all the way from Florida to Texas (sorry guys, couldn't resist that one). That's not going to happen to me. I have accepted the Power of Jakob and I am saved. Yes, saved from the cold marble. Can I have a Hallelujah? Jakob's People, are you with me? Amen brothers and sisters!

     Just look at this clean white background. It breathes. You don't have to strain your eyes or put on your bifocals to read this clear black text. It loads in a flash, but don't blink, you just might miss it. No silly little mouse games searching for these ever reasonable default blue and purple hyperlinks. I am freed at last by the simplicity of <h> and <p>. I don't have to lose sleep listening to the Opera, battling the monopolists or coddling the wannabes. No more higher mathematical worry about 3.0, 4.0, 4.5, 4.76, 5.0, 5.01, 5.5, 6.0 or e=mc².

     What you see is what you get. What you choose is what you want. It's Usability Nirvana and it's all thanks to Lord Jakob. A silly little man to some, a pariah to others, the supreme savior for this collaterally damaged convert. Won't you please join me? World domination awaits with JN as our leader. The end of confusion ... just pure lucidity.

     Ok, here's the deal about yesterday's Top 10 List. You probably thought I just forgot #1, right? Or that the apparently clickable link to #1 did absolutely nothing? Made you want to pull your hair out, didn't it? Come on, admit it. You at least thought I had mucked up the code. Well, if you got frustrated, or if you clicked that bogus link more than three times with nothing happening, or if you actually viewed the source of the page to see what was going on — then that's the #1 Sign You've Been At Your Computer Too Long. So there. Go climb a mountain or something.

     Oh, before I forget, a very happy 86th birthday wish to my absolute favorite great-aunt Irene in Tampa, Florida. Hugs and kisses. Luv ya, Jeff.

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. It's a little known fact that this is National Computer Professional Week. So be sure to tell your favorite network analyst or system administrator what a great job they're doing. Hey, give them a big hug while you're at it. 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.

     John McCabe is one of those computer professionals, a MCSE, living in the New York/New Jersey area. He has one of the great domains of all time, also the name of his weblog, It fits his personality to a T. One of the funniest writers I've encountered in the blog community, John is also quite well known for his Campaign. Last week John celebrated two anniversaries and described the experiences in "14 Words." Here are a few excerpts:

     "My company took me to dinner last night. I have worked there for five years, this month. That may not seem very long, but it is several generations in the computer field. If you factor in the fact that I was the first full-time employee of this company, after the owners at least, the time is pretty significant..."

     "You get to choose the restaurant," the office manager said. Actually, den-mother is more like it. "Anywhere you want, take your pick." My request for the McDonalds in Maui was flatly rejected (I would have even settled for drive-thru), so I chose the most expensive french restaurant in town. There wasn't as much flak for that as I had anticipated."

     "I lived in a basement apartment in a crappy town when they found me. T-shirt and jeans and a baseball cap was all I would ever be seen in. Attitude and ego, ambition, but no confidence, I worked for a tiny little mail order store, holding it together, and paying the bills...barely. My home was $480 a month and worth maybe half that — it was a hole. It was my hole, though, and I knew that somehow, some way, I would get out of it, no matter what. A few weeks later I was in a pinstriped suit in downtown Manhattan working for an investment bank. My tax bill that year was higher than my salary from the previous one..."

     "...Some posturing and a very public battle with a powerful Director left me viciously forced out, for a reason that I still am razzed about to this very day. This was all reduced to two sentences in [a] poem. Cleverly, though. I laughed. I didn't laugh at the time. The significance of what happened didn't take hold for a long while. One day I was flying to London like it was going to the beach for the weekend, the next I was smoking a cigarette behind a strip mall watching a train go by..."

     "...Time passed and the wounds healed ... time heals all wounds that don't bleed you to death first. I could write a thousand pages of what happened from then to now, but for the moment I have said enough. The curious fact is that sipping my wine while turning beet red, this whole event was recounted in 14 words. The event that made me give up my quest for a hollow image ... the ripples of which are still tearing down the world around me, as I continue to seek and destroy the unseemly remnants of that creation and assimilate the pieces of him that still belong."

     "That was two years ago, this month ... reduced to two sentences, in a humorous glance. The most earth-shattering, personal revelation of my life. In two years time, I wonder what events of today will be reduced to a mere two sentences? When the paragraph of now is written in future time's pages, what will become of what I do today?" — John McCabe



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