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My Blog

My thoughts on it all

Getting Gas

Nov 18, 2008 / 3 Replies I heard it's below $2/gallon in six states now. I paid $2.11 in Tigard on Friday, and passed a station this morning where it was $2.06.

Next time I get gas, I'm going to tell them to fill up the tank really slowly, so it will be under $2 by the time I pay for it.

Website Designers

Jun 8, 2008 / 0 Replies Well, I am doing some research to find some top-level web design firms (client project), and I am encountering the phenomenon of WAY too much data, not enough information. Seems like everyone who can spell "HTML" is billing themselves as a web design firm, and it is difficult to sort out the serious contenders from the fly-by-nights.

After a brief foray into a series of so-called "top designers" I was able to eliminate about 90% of them with one click. My rule of thumb is, if I gag on the index page of the company's own website, I am not going to put them on my list.

It's interesting how many "top designers" are still using 50 paragraphs in 3-point font, meditation music, elaborate flash renditions of blooming flowers, elaborate and/or too many fonts, and more colors than Baskin Robbins has flavors - on their index pages. Not to mention page after page after page of marketing hype with NO product-price listing, inconsistent links from page to page, pop-up windows and PDF pages... not to mention crappy proofreading.

As Dylan once observed, it should be required that people have a license to design web pages.

Anyone have any particular recommendations or notes about some of the truly substantial web design firms? I'm looking for companies with substantial numbers of clients and significant annual revenues.

Dang.

Mar 19, 2008 / 0 Replies Another cultural icon bites the dust. Arthur C. Clarke changed the face of the science fiction landscape - and made a considerable impact on science in general as well.

And So It Goes

Apr 12, 2007 / 0 Replies Kurt Vonnegut was one of the first writers I ever encountered who made me realize it was possible to think about life "outside the box".

There was a lot about his personal life that I couldn't condone and I probably would not have been able to have him as a personal friend, but by gum, the guy could sure write.

One of my favorite stories EVER is "Harrison Bergeron." If you haven't read it, you should. It's in the short story collection Welcome to the Monkey House.

Another Mac vs. PC Opinion

Feb 20, 2007 / 0 Replies Here's a pretty good objective rundown on the Mac/PC discussion. The author uses both Macs and PCs regularly and likes them both, but sees certain drawbacks to either platform.

Three Impossible Things

Oct 4, 2006 / 0 Replies I can't remember who said it -- Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, or Jubal Harshaw -- but it's supposed to be a good idea for you to believe three impossible things every day before breakfast.

Well, it's way past breakfast, but just now I opened up the CNN website and found them. I will work on believing them tomorrow morning before I eat.

This one makes my head spin. Hopefully the rest of me would follow.

This one is on the list because it's so hard to believe that anyone would spend so much time doing this.

And this one just because it is just so neat.

Tell Me Why This is a Good Thing

Sep 17, 2006 / 3 Replies OK, I just watched one of those snarky, smug, Mac-vs-PC ads... you know, the one where the casual, hip, young guy is all condescending to the geeky, confused, middle-aged suit.

In this ad, PC Guy has two broken arms because someone tripped over his power cord and he fell off his desk. Mac Man is way cool because his power cord is attached magnetically so if someone trips over it, or pulls on it, it just pops off. "It's all thought out," he sneers.

So I'm wondering, did they think out the part where the power cord keeps coming unplugged when the cat runs under the table? Or when someone crosses their legs and catches the cord? Or when a vacuum catches it?

And then I thought, who keeps their power cord out where someone can walk past and trip over it anyway?

Man, I hate those ads.

Inconvenient

Jul 23, 2006 / 8 Replies I saw An Inconvenient Truth today. I liked it. Al Gore is an entertaining and intelligent speaker.

There appears to be a very real climatological crisis on the Earth today. Carbon dioxide levels, and therefore temperature levels, are something like triple the highest they have EVER been in 650,000 years. Species are dying off at an unprecedented rate. The glaciers are disappearing. It's predicted with some accuracy that the arctic icecap will be gone -- GONE -- in 40 years.

Doom and gloom! It's easy to shrug this off, and I know many people who do, not just because it's inconvenient to stop driving gas guzzlers or to use air conditioning, but also because it's inconvenient to listen to someone you a) didn't vote for and b) keeps villianizing the current administration.

Now let me say here that I didn't vote for Gore, and I probably wouldn't vote for him if he ran for president again. I dunno that I would vote for Bush if HE ran again either. But see, here's the thing: the current administration did not cause global warming, and voting Hillary Clinton into office won't reverse it either.

And that's what I did NOT like about this movie. While most of it was entertaining and informative, and extremely well produced, there were a few moments in there where the whole problem was politicized, and it gave the impression that if only we vote right, we'll be okay.

This is SO not a partisan issue! If indeed there is a problem with the world's climate, and I believe there is, and if there is indeed a way for us to deal intelligently with it, and I believe there is, then it is completely a bipartisan issue and not a politically divisive one.

The problem I have with the politicization in the movie is not just the knee-jerk reaction I have to any glib, one-sided "it's all their fault" mentality, but the fact that this sort of politicization is exactly what will cause a certain demographic to completely dismiss the message altogether. In fact, I know some people who won't even go see the movie because it's Al Gore who is presenting it.

Has anyone else seen it? Any thoughts?

News to Me

Jun 10, 2006 / 8 Replies So, how come when a record meteorite hits Norway and causes a "Hiroshima-sized" destruction, it takes me 20 minutes to even find the story on the Internet, but CNN carries not one but THREE headlines at once about Angelina's baby?

Important Day

Apr 27, 2006 / 4 Replies Happy Birthday Dylan!