May 27, 2004

In the Nevada Desert for a Week...

I'll probably be too busy preparing and packing to post much else to my weblog in the next day, so I'll post this now... (But the linkblog will stay alive. See below.)

Next week (May 29th - June 5th), I will be flying around over the Nevada desert. I'm taking part in this year's Cross Country Camp at the AirSailing Gliderport, in the Palomino Valley roughly 25 miles north of Reno and not far from Pyramid lake.

I'll be heading out early Saturday morning, glider in tow, with several other pilots who routinely fly gliders out of Hollister. We're expecting a 7 or 8 hour drive from the Bay Area (given the upcoming holiday and the fact that we're taking I-80 past Lake Tahoe and towing gliders). Since I'm just starting to get into cross-country flying, the timing of this year's camp couldn't be much better for me.

Some of us will be camping on-site in the RV we have come to refer to simply as The Beast. Lance will have his Discus B ("november tango") and Jonathon will have his Jantar Standard ("uniform victor"). Of course, I'll be bringing my 304C ("one mike").

There probably won't be much in the way of Internet access there, so I'll likely dump a bunch of stuff on-line (pictures, flying blog entries) when I get back the following weekend. On the off chance that you're in the area and have an aviation radio (yeah, right), I'll be on 123.3 most of the time and I answer to 1M ("one mike") for obvious reasons. :-)

Last year I flew in a biplane on my birthday. This year (turning 30!) I hope to be between 12,000 and 18,000 feet and within range of at least one good airstrip!

While I'm out, the linkblog will continue to live. Kasia has agreed to link in some of the random sort of entertaining and sometimes useful crap you've come to expect from it. Half that stuff seems to come from her anyway! :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 02:16 PM

Yahoo! Toolbar Now With Anti-Spyware

The previously mentioned secret alpha test was for the just announced upgrade to the Yahoo! Toolbar which now contains anti-spyware code.

I have to say, this one of those ideas that was immediately obvious upon hearing it. "Of *course* we should use the Toolbar as a way to help poor Windows users get all that crap off their machines." But at the same time it's amazing how many folks never came up with it on their own, me included.

Congrats to the Yahoo! Companion team for this toolbar update. This update has the potential to fix a lot of really messed up computers.

Note to Microsoft: If security is job #1, how come you haven't done this already? Shouldn't Windows Update have installed a comprehensive anti-spyware solution by now?

Posted by jzawodn at 07:53 AM

May 24, 2004

Orkut Newsletter Spam?

Well, it seems that Orkut is now sending out a newsletter to members.

Mine looks something like this:

Hey Jeremy,

You have 162 friends:
- 145 friends
- 5 acquaintances
- 12 haven't met

New members in your network since May 16th:
- 2 new friends
- 33 new friends of friends
- 2490 new friends of friends of friends

Friends of friends you might be interested in meeting:
- Joi Ito
- Ask Bjørn Hansen
- Mitchell Kapor
- Dick Hardt
- Matt Haughey
- Eron Jokipii
- Babs Gnos
- Jeneane Sessum
- Liz Lawley
- Cameo Wood

Recently updated friend albums:
- Andrei Zmievski
- Jøn Stephens

You can receive a better personalized newsletter by adding friendship
levels to your friends:

stay beautiful, team

Amusingly, marked it as Junk Mail (or spam). Is this the first one they've sent? I really don't know. Maybe SpamAssassin nabbed the others.


Posted by jzawodn at 11:24 PM

May 20, 2004

Miguel on Facing Problems

In a recent weblog entry, Miguel comments on how he handles looming problems on the horizon. He tells the story of Gnunmeric's comuptation engine and summarizes it this way:

What I like about this story, is that I could have given up at any point since there was a large problem ahead of me: a problem I had no answers to. And I see this with many free software developers, students and even in normal social situations: people stop doing things because they see a big problem ahead of them that they can not possibly conceive working around. My advise to every young programmer is to start writing code and delay addressing imaginary problems until they become real.

There's a lesson that for folks in lots of areas, not just software development. Even life in general.

Too many people try to solve everything in advance or devise the perfect solution.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:31 AM

May 18, 2004

The Path of Least Resistance and Weblogs

Earlier today I was having a discussion at work that involved my weblog. This certainly isn't the first time, but this one really got me thinking about things in a different way. Without going into any real detail, the person I was talking with asked if I bothered to talk to internal groups before I say something good or bad about them, their products, or their competitors on my weblog. This is not the first time I've been asked that either.

At the time, I simply said what first came to mind then and before--that I do sometimes but not all the time. In the case of my Travelocity rant I did. In other cases I did not. The best reason I could think of this was the effort involved--real or perceived. Sometimes I know folks involved with a particular product or service we offer. It's easy to approach them and point things out or get questions clarified. But in other cases, my observations don't pass my internal threshold for it being worth trying to figure out who to get in touch with. Maybe that's because it can be difficult to find the right person. (We're a big company and that that can make it harder than maybe it should be. More on that some other day. Maybe.) Other times I just don't think the issue is that significant to warrant bugging someone about it.

It turns out that I might not be the best judge of what's significant and what is not.

I don't think I'm alone in operating this way. I suspect that other bloggers I work with (at least the ones who mention work stuff from time to time on their weblogs) find themselves in a similar boat. And I believe it's true of blogger friends at other companies too. I'm not naming names just in case some of them are trying to remain under the radar. It's hard to know sometimes.

But why do we bother blogging this stuff if it's not even worth telling people internally? Is it because the blog world is a bit of an echo chamber at times--one in which we like to hear ourselves talk and read others who agree with our complaints, suggestions, and trivial observations?

Soemtimes it is.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I guess that my blog is the path of least resistance for getting random stuff off my chest or out of my brain and into a more permanent medium. The fact that it's public simply encourages me to do so in a way that's at least minimally comprehsible. I try not to rant as much as some people, instead providing a sampling of all the stuff (weird and otherwise) that passes through my head. Much as my linkblog has replaced all but 5 of my bookmarks, my weblog is an outlet for stuff I'm thinking about--thoughts I'd rather not see lost entirely in the depths of my poor memory. It's a sort of running public braindump that's only slightly edited and censored from time to time.

Amazingly, people read this stuff! :-)

Seen from another point of view, there's a communication problem here--real or perceived. And that's a little funny because many folks advocate weblogs as a way to break down communication barriers. Apparently mine has done that on a few more occasions that I actually knew about. It sure wasn't the optimal solution, but the message got across.

That then got me thinking (again) about corporate weblogs. Because, you know... if it works on the outside (for some value of "works"), maybe it'll work on the inside. Or from the inside out. Or even from the inside out and then back in.

Confused yet?

Here's some of what I'm seeing and thinking...

Corporate Weblogs?

Corporate weblogs seem to come in several varieties. Companies like Microsoft and Sun seem to be doing a good job getting some of their employees to get in the game and write in public in an officially sanctioned way--or hiring experienced bloggers to get things rolling. They're building relationships with their customers, users, enemies, etc.

Examples: Tim Bray who's now at Sun and Robert Scoble at Microsft (and the Channel 9 folks too, in a different way). Both were respected bloggers before joining their respective companies. (Hmm, how important is that?) Of course, Ben and Mena of Six Apart built their company around weblogs have been using theirs as a communication vehicle.

Those "inside out" weblogs seem to be working quite effectively.

Another example of an "inside out" corporate weblog is the recently launched Google blog, which had a bit of a rocky start. It is different because it's not attributed to a single individual. And then there's the SEC mandated quiet period they're in right now. It'll be interesting to see how that goes. And how it changes after they're a public company. Many suspect it'll take on a less personal and more PR-oriented slant.

Lots of folks have talked about internal company weblogs over the last year or two. I've long been down on those for reasons I don't completely understand. I think that's because I haven't thought hard enough about what really makes my weblog seem "worth doing" every day. But we have internal weblogs here at work. I don't read any of them. I started one of my own but abandoned it after a month or less. But maybe we're just missing some of the key ingredients to a thriving weblog community.

Are those ingredients different inside the firewall than on the outside? I suspect so but can't that I understand why yet.

I wonder if Don's corporate blogger's dinner would have shed more light on this.

I also suspect that back when I asked "what would the internal-only weblog buy me?" I was only looking at half the issue. I never stopped to ask "what would the internal-only weblog buy the company?" That's another way of asking "why would anyone read it?"

I clearly need to think about this more. I have a lot of disorganized thoughts on the matter--far more than I've time to put here right now. This is not all the conversation got me thinking about, but I suspect others have been down this particular road before and might have ideas to share.

Semi-related to all of this is the stuff that Steve Rubel writes about in his Micro Persuasion weblog. He's got his eye on the the intersection of weblogs and traditional public relations--corporate and otherwise.

Sorry for the rambling...

Related older posts:

Oh. That reminds me. I'll soon have an update on my rant that contains a few lessons about customer service and the power of an on-line voice.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:39 PM

Cost Per Click Insanity

According to Search Engine Lowdown the cost per click auction model of on-line advertising can get a bit out of hand from time to time.

Narrowly-defined keywords can lead to short-term bidding wars. In March '04, and managed to drive the cost-per-click of the phrase "weight loss diet" from $2.00 to over $75.00.

Wow. I knew that some specific markets have significantly higher than average CPC rates, that seems a bit nuts.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:09 PM

DomainKeys Documentation Now Available

Well, the mystery of DomainKeys is now public.

Email spoofing - the forging of another person's or company's email address to get users to trust and open a message - is one of the biggest challenges facing both the Internet community and anti-spam technologists today. Without sender authentication, verification, and traceability, email providers can never know for certain if a message is legitimate or forged and will therefore have to continually make educated guesses on behalf of their users on what to deliver, what to block, and what to quarantine, in the pursuit of the best possible user experience.
DomainKeys is a technology proposal that can bring black and white back to this decision process by giving email providers a mechanism for verifying both the domain of each email sender and the integrity of the messages sent (i.e,. that they were not altered during transit). And, once the domain can be verified, it can be compared to the domain used by the sender in the From: field of the message to detect forgeries. If it's a forgery, then it's spam or fraud, and it can be dropped without impact to the user. If it's not a forgery, then the domain is known, and a persistent reputation profile can be established for that sending domain that can be tied into anti-spam policy systems, shared between service providers, and even exposed to the user.

It'll be interesting to see how this is received.

I haven't looked closely enough at the proposal yet to pass any sort of opinion. I do know some of the folks involved, so I'm quite hopeful.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:47 PM

May 17, 2004

Google Good. Me use Google.

I had lunch today with a former Yahoo (Ray) and a few coworkers. That's odd for me because I usually eat lunch at my desk while catching up in NetNewsWire. Among the various things we talked about was the way Google add features that are useful to a very small fraction of their users.

For example, the fact that I can plug N304GT into Google to lookup my glider's record in the FAA Aircraft Registration Database is cool. (The fact that the FAA is taking forever to process my paperwork and issue a paper registration certificate is not cool.)

Someone suggested that they do this because it catches the eye of the really savvy users who are otherwise hard to impress. They then say good things about Google to their less knowledgeable friends which results in a trickle-down effect that ultimately attracts more users.

For whatever reason, I summarized this process in my best possible moron/caveman voice and said something like: "Google? Google Good! Me use Google!" And everyone was quite amused by my characterization of the "typical internet user" nowadays.

But nobody disputed it.

The other funny thing was when Ray looked up at a promotional sign in the cafeteria that was advertising some not-yet-public stuff we're testing internally. He read it and asked "is that a public alpha?"

Heh. So much for secrets, huh?

In fact, the poster in question is also posted in every elevator around here too. Visitors would have trouble not seeing it.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:57 PM

May 15, 2004

The Sky is Not Falling

Now that everyone seems to be pissing and moaning about the licensing fees for MovableType 3.0 (or migrating to WordPress), I see that Mena has posted a clarification of sorts. Not only that, they've made a few adjustments to their plans based on all the feedback they've received. (Gee, just maybe they're not evil after all?)

As Brad notes, their definition of weblog for licensing purposes is different than the definition of weblog in MovableType. That seems to have been a big source of confusion and frustration for those who didn't actually know that. (Duh, right?)

As for me? Well, I've been perpetually slow when it comes to upgrading my MT install anyway. I'm sure I'll get around to upgrading to MT 3.0 at some point. But first is has to be released. And even then, I need to understand why I should bother. The MT 2.5x and 2.6x versions have served me well for quite a while and with the addition of MT-Blacklist, I really don't find myself wishing for features that don't exist.

Besides, I place a high enough value on my personal time (yes, actual dollars per hour) that switching to another system will certainly be far more expensive than staying where I'm at or paying for a full-blown MT 3.x license. I'm sure the switch would be a multi-hour process and that's after I evaluated and selected from the popular options.

But maybe that's just me.

I was one of the folks who donated to Ben and Mena way back whenever it was that I sent them some cash. Why'd I do it? Was it to get the key that allowed my weblog to be noted on their site every time it updated? Hardly. I was impressed as hell with what they built and were giving away for free. And I still am.

I'm not in High School making $5 an hour anymore. I can afford to pay for stuff that saves me hours every single month.

I never realized how many folks in the blog echo chamber were so cost-sensitive and willing to jump the gun and turn their backs on a fantastic piece of software.

Well, now I know. So much for loyalty. The judgment has been largely instant and harsh.

Does this mean I'll never leave MovableType? Of course not. Don't be stupid. If something far better comes along or something else evolves to the point that it's worth my while, maybe I'll switch. But for the time being, I've got more important stuff to do and that includes writing here rather than trying to figure out how to replace a perfectly good piece of software that I have the source code for anyway.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:51 AM

May 13, 2004

I Need Reading Lessons

I need reading lessons or something.

I know that when people read on the web, they often skim. But I seem to forget that I'm one of those people too.

Someone pointed me at this story a little while ago and I read skimmed it (twice) as "Yahoo Mail will be providing 100MB of 'virtually unlimited' storage" which is obviously a dumb thing to say. We all know that Gmail offers 10 times that, right?

So I pointed this out to someone else (who also needs reading lessons I guess, but will remain nameless) that also agreed it was dumb.

(In case your counting, that's three people who collectively "read" the story a minimum of five times.)

You can see it coming, right?

I then sent out an e-mail to a whole bunch of people and essentially asked whose bright idea that was. Inevitably, a few moments later I re-read the message for the third time and finally got it.

The "virtually unlimited" is for paid users, while the 100MB is for everyone else.

Oh. Okay. That makes sense.

I, of course, now feel rather stupid and in need of reading lessons.

Crap! I should setup a procmail rule now to route the pending "hey moron!" replies to the trash.

Too much on-line skimming and not enough real reading can damage your brain. Consider this your warning.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:05 PM

May 12, 2004

Feedster, Technorati, and Weblog Comment Spam

In reading Scott's post about weblog comment spam, I was reminded of a thought I've had for some time now. But rather than just tell you, I'll tell you how I came upon the idea and see how quickly you come to the same conclusion.

When I'm asked to interview job candidates at work, it's usually in one of a few capacities. Most often it's "the database interview" in which I get to figure out how much the interviewee knows about relational databases--specifically MySQL. (Gee, I wonder why the pick me for that.)

Other times I'm either interviewing folks for what I call a "cultural fit." That basically means I'm trying to figure out if he or she will "fit in" at Yahoo while also conveying an idea of what it's like to work at Yahoo, both the good and bad.

A few times I've also been asked to interview folks in a general technical capacity and to see how well they think about thorny issues, solve problems, etc. When I do that, one of my favorite lines of questioning involves search engine technology and the challenges of indexing the whole web.

At some point we end up discussing PageRank and similar techniques for figuring out site popularity and the various ways that one can abuse those techniques. So I eventually ask something like this:

Assuming that you have a map of the entire web (a link map or "graph" if you want to get all computer science about it), can you think of ways that you might try to detect and ultimately combat link spammers who are clearly trying to game the system?

The ensuing discussion is usually interesting, mostly because the candidate has rarely ever thought about the issue. But when prompted to do so a light bulb usually goes off. Sometimes it takes a few seconds but it usually happens.

Think about it a bit. I bet you'll come up with a few approaches. They may not be perfect, but that's hardly the point.

Now back to Feedster and Technorati. If you're still reading this, I'll pose the obvious question:

Assuming that you have a sizable list of all the weblogs around (meaning that you're Feedster or maybe Technorati), you crawl them regularly (or at least fetch their RSS feeds), know how often they update, and even know which ones frequently cross-link, can you think of one or more techniques for detecting weblog comment spam almost as it happens?

Yeah? Me too.

Furthermore, you could probably even offer a service that works with TypeKey, MT-Blacklist, and other solutions to proactively warn about the spammers.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:08 PM

E-Mail Stress Disorder or Burnout?

I think I have some sort of strange e-mail related disorder. Ever since I stared reducing the volume of my daily mail feed I've become even more sensitive to how much damned e-mail I get.

It's weird. E-mail seems like such a burden anymore. I have maybe 20 messages I've been needing to reply to (down from hundreds) and it just seems like such a chore. After I get home from work (where I still process a fair amount of e-mail) the last thing I want to do is deal with any remaining non-work e-mail. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's some kind of e-mail burnout?

Perhaps I should start using post cards or something? Maybe set up an auto-responder that provides the sender with my postal address and the name of a few good on-line postcard and stamp stores...

Posted by jzawodn at 04:23 PM

May 11, 2004

B-17 and B-24 back in the Bay Area!

This is most excellent! The Collings Foundation's B-17 and B-24 are going to be at Moffett Field this week (13th-18th). That's right next door to work.

Like last year, which I missed, there will be ground tours for $8 and if you pony up $400, you get a 30 minute flight. (I think they were $300 last year?) I'm very, very tempted. Besides, I believe the $400 is tax deduction.

Anyone else planning to go--either to walk through or for a ride?

I should take my camera to work. My window kind of sort of faces Moffett and they're gonna be flying rides throughout the week, it seems. If I'm smart, I'll bring in my handheld and tune to 119.55 (tower/CTAF) or 121.85 (ground) to get a heads-up on when they're flying.

Oh, for more info about those two planes, either click on their images or visit their respective pages: B-17g and B-24j.

Posted by jzawodn at 01:47 AM

May 10, 2004

Using Pine to Track Unix Adoption

I happened to be reading the change notes for the latest release of Pine (which I used for about 5 years during and after college), when I noticed that they're also tracking the adoption rate of Pine. In doing so they've created some interesting charts related to Pine's growth (bottom of the page).

The most interesting to me are those that plot the popularity of Pine on various Unix and Unix-like operating systems over time. For my mind, that's a reasonable proxy for tracking the growth of the operating systems themselves. I remember watching first-hand as SunOS/Solaris, Ultrix, and other operating systems began to level off at the same time that Linux was really starting to gain popularity.

I was never able to quantify this effect and rarely saw anything that did a good job of representing those trends--at least the way I saw them in academic environments. Well, the Pine graphs seem to do an excellent job of that.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:43 PM

A Day Without Iraq

I'm exposed to little[1] of the what the mainstream media considers "news" outlets, but I still find myself feeling beat to death with "news" about Iraq.

I would like one day to pass during which I can look at a mainstream newspaper, web site, and other media outlet without seeing a single mention of Iraq or the so-called "war" there.

Is that really too much to ask? Does the average person really care so deeply about what's going on in Iraq (or what's not going on there) that the big media outlets feel compelled to beat us to death with "news" about it?

I find it hard to believe. But then again, it's entirely possible that I don't know many average people.

[1] Really, NPR and infrequent visits to are the extent of my regular exposure. I can't imagine watching an hour of the nightly news every day as well as listening to the radio and reading a newspaper. My parents have been doing it for years and I really don't know how they can deal with it.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:36 PM

May 08, 2004

New Mac + iSight + iMovie = Lame Quicktime Movie

Ever wondered what happens when you have 5 minutes of spare time, a new Powerbook, an iSight camera, and a copy of iMovie handy?

You make a lame movie, of course!

Really, it's dumb. Don't watch it. I warned you. It has absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The intro "title" sequence is as long as the "action" is.

On a positive note, once I get a real digital video camera (more on that later), mount it in my glider, and spend a lot of time with iMovie I think I'll be able to make something very cool. But it's probably gonna take a lot of practice.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:51 PM

Rejoining Netflix

I'm a sucker, I guess.

Though my previous experiment to not watch TV for 30 days didn't entirely work, I've been TV free for a couple months now--ever since I moved into the new place. I even sold my Tivo to someone at work.

As a result I've had more spare time but have occasionally been looking for some entertainment. No problem. I have a small collection of DVDs to watch. But now I've seen them all and am at the point where watching them again just wouldn't be all that satisfying.

Netflix recently sent me a "come back and we'll give you $10 off!" offer, so I decided to take it. Since I was a member before, they still had my billing info and shipping address. However, they didn't bother to remember my queue and that sorta sucks. I had at least 50 decent items in my old queue.

Oh, well. I'll just have to rebuild it from scratch. I just finished adding most of the Kevin Smith DVDs. I'm sure more stuff will jump out at me over the next few weeks.

Any suggestions? :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 09:26 AM

May 07, 2004

Astoundingly Easy Powerbook Upgrade

I'm in awe of Apple.

I just finished getting my new Powerbook running and it was astoundingly easy. Having spent many years in the Windows camp, I'm conditioned to think that moving all your programs, data, and settings from one computer to another is supposed to take an entire weekend and be a very tedious and error-prone process.

Not on the Mac.

I used a firewire cable to copy all the data from the old Powerbook to the new one. I literally copied the whole hard disk--there's more than enough free disk space. Migrating my applications was a matter of finding the old apps and dragging their icons from the old location to the new Applications folder. Moving my preferences and settings was a matter of pulling nearly everything from ~/Library on the old machine and dropping it onto the new one.

That's basically it. I think the machine to machine copy took the longest, but really don't know. That happened while I was sleeping last night.

Now I'm installing Xcode and the developer tools so that I can install a few Perl modules that I need. When it's all over and one, I don't think I'll have more than an hour and half invested in this process.

I'm completely amazed. I can't imagine ever dealing with this sort of thing on Windows again--tracking down DLLs and registry entries or, worse yet, tracking down all the media to reinstall everything.

Excellent job, Apple!

About the only thing that would have made it easier is if the new Mac had noticed the old Mac and offered to migrate everything for me.

I'm sure I'll have more to say about this wonderful machine as time goes on, but right now I'm just pleased as hell about how easy the upgrade was. Microsoft, are you listening to this? Scoble? Will Longhorn be this easy? If not, you guys are doing something very wrong.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:45 PM

May 05, 2004

Linux as a Work in Progress

In a comment over on Kasia's blog, David said:

Consider Linux as a work in progress..things are going to be a-changing, so tomorrow you may not even see that problem. It might have already been fixed..things are constantly improving.

That got me wondering a bit. How does a linux distribution "decide" when it's time to cut a new release, anyway? I really have no idea what the process is like. I do have an idea how the MySQL folks decide when to release a new stable version (it has a lot to do with squashing all known bugs first).

I'm particularly unfamiliar with RedHat's processes, since I stopped using their software many years back when RPM bit me a few too many times. (I know a bit more about Debian's release process.) From what I can glean on this page, Fedora Core 1 (which she said she used) seem to be a non-test version of the software. I wasn't really able to find any explanation of their release process on the site (and Google wasn't much help), so it's hard to say.

With the recent push for "Linux on the Desktop" gaining media attention again, this seems troublesome. Whenever discussion of the "average user" comes up (as it does in other comments on that post), the notion of a it being a "work in progress" isn't going to endear many new users.

Remember, for most users, the Operating System is supposed to be a transparent and stable base upon which to run their daily applications. What would you think if, at the car dealer, the salesman said something like this:

Yeah, this baby's great... The engine? Well, it's a work in progress but should serve you well. Don't worry!

Yes, Linux is always getting better. But it's odd that the basic stuff, like the installer and keeping-itself-update stuff is still problematic. Or that a bug this obvious was released.

Anyway, I'm sure it's fixed in the latest version. That's always the response in the software world, right?

Posted by jzawodn at 08:29 PM

Stormtroopers Have Very Poor Aim

Over the last 3 nights, I've re-watched the original three Star Wars movies in order. While there are many important and recurring themes throughout the movies, one seems to have been very understated over the years.

Stormtroopers have incredibly poor aim. It's really no wonder the empire eventually lost. The only reason I can see that they survived as long as they did was their sheer number.

On a related note, it might be amusing to write my weblog entries in Yoda-speak for a while. Amusing that would be.

On an unrelated note, my cold seems to be going away at a faster rate than I expected. That's a good thing, considering how much work I ended up doing today anyway.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:54 PM

Tylenol Allergy Sinus is my Friend Today

Crap. I'm sick.

I blame Murphy, as I oftne do. He's one rat bastard.

I should have known the PowerBook would arrive today (err, technically that was yesterday).

I woke up this morning (yesterday morning... whatever) feeling a bit tired and stuffed up, but figured it was my allergies acting up again. I took some Benadryl, which helps but makes me tired. (That's an understatement. It's like taking a powerful sleeping pill.) However, by lunch time the tiredness hadn't worn off yet and I couldn't focus on anything. I figured I just needed some food. But that didn't help either.

It wasn't until about 2pm that my head started to hurt and I got really tired. And I noticed a hint of a sore throat. That's when I knew I was sick.

I could blame the weather in Cleveland this past weekend. It was cooler and rainy. And it seems that Mike also has a sore throat, so maybe there's something to that.

I held out as long as I could but head to head home during the worst traffic (about 6pm). By 8pm I was in asleep. I slept about 3 hours before getting up to eat and watch The Empire Strikes Back. That's what your supposed to do when sick, right? :-)

Anyway, I found some "expired" Tylenol Allergy Sinus tablets in the medicine cabinet and it seems to be doing a decent job of keeping some of the symptoms at bay.

Am I the only one who doesn't believe the expiration dates on OTC medication?

Ugh. Now I have to look at my meeting schedule tomorrow to see what I can do about being at work for a few hours rather than all day. I'd rather not infect the rest of the company.

Hopefully I'll be well enough to fly this weekend. It's looking like some good Spring soaring conditions will be upon us.

Meanwhile, the heat is turned up and I've "fed" my cold. The only real benefit is that I may find time to catch up on some stuff that I've been behind on--when I'm not sleeping. Being sick does that sometimes. And my sleep schedule should be amusing too.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:43 AM

May 04, 2004

PowerBook Arrived

That was damn fast. I ordered late last week and most of the pieces have already arrived. Wow!

I have the machine, extra ram from, 40GB iPod, iSight, and a few adaptors sitting in my cube now.

Kick Ass

Now I need to figure out how to move all my important data (iTunes, Mail, etc.) to the new machine. Hopefully I can do some sort of Mac rsync to copy my home directory over and be done with it.

Anyone know?

Posted by jzawodn at 02:38 PM

May 03, 2004

Falling Spiders

So I'm laying in bed while talking on the phone and I notice a spider walking on the ceiling several feet above my face. That of course got me wondering (or maybe worrying?) if the spider would fall on my face during the night. Not being a fan of spiders, that's a mildly disturbing thought.

But then I realized that spiders are really good at not falling. In fact, I've only seen spiders fall in very specific circumstances.

  1. When one of my cats swats one on of them off the wall to play with it before ultimately eating it or letting it run away.
  2. When one is hanging from a thread of a web and something breaks it, such as when I nearly walk into one before realizing what's going on.
  3. When I get pissed at a spider and put a small flame (think of a grill lighter) under it. (Don't worry. I only did this in my old apartment where I didn't care about the paint.)

Other than that, spiders seem to be very good at remaining stuck to the walls and ceiling. So my fear is probably unfounded.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:22 PM

May 02, 2004

Thoughts on Cleveland Trip

I had fun this weekend in Cleveland. I haven't had a chance to post (or even upload) the 200+ pictures taken with my camera yet. Kasia really wants a crack at fixing some of 'em up anyway (she's good with the Photoshop, unlike me).

So, until you can see photos of semi-drunken people you don't know in dark places you don't know, I leave you with a few things from this weekend.

  • It's possible to get nearly a dozen people in a taxi van without too much pain and suffering
  • The taxi drivers in Cleveland are quite amusing
  • Brandt really is married
  • Every bar should have couches and barrels of free peanuts
  • Thanks to Brian, at least one woman in Cleveland thinks I had a book on the NYT best seller's list.
  • I autographed her napkin
  • She thinks Brian is a race car driver
  • Another might think I live next to Bill Gates. In Silicon Valley.
  • Keith is even better than a pimp, but none of us know the word for that
  • The Holiday Inn Express in downtown Cleveland has free broadband and bottled water in the rooms. However, it's in the twilight zone.
  • At least one person in Cleveland craps right on the sidewalk
  • You can peel an orange with a plastic spoon. At least Andy can.

That is all.

For now.

Oh, Dan posted his pictures.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:52 PM