February 28, 2002

Road Trip: Day 1.

I just completed the first day of the trip. It feels great to get out of Portland. Maybe it is the sunny weather or the excitement of beginning a new trip, but everything just seems good.

The sights on the road seemed more interesting than they should have been; cows running on a grass covered hill spotted with amazing old trees, an old man driving a brown gremlin, grinning from ear to ear, and the evening sunlight just skimming over the tops of the trees on an angled hill, bringing their tips to a glow. It's nice when things appear more appealing than usual.

I met Rosie tonight for dinner along with her husband Josh and almost two year old daughter Maisy. Maisy was fascinating, and as cute as could be. I don't know too many two year olds, but she seemed like a smart kid. It probably helps that she has two great parents.

I'm staying at the Ashland Hostel tonight. It's a beautiful place, but relatively empty. I'm watching the owner and her nephew play a scrabble-like game on the net as I write this with pen and paper. No internet withdrawals yet.

Posted by Eli at 09:30 PM | Comments (1)

February 26, 2002

Beach pictures added.

I just posted a new collection of photos I took at the beach this past weekend. I really like a few of them (see the "selected photos" column), but a lot of them are just pictures of nerds partying. You would think that I have enough of those pictures by now, eh? Anyway, check them out and tell me what you think.

Posted by Eli at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2002

Non-stressful vacations?

I'm taking off later this week for a road trip down the west coast. I really hate planning vacations, so this time I've put off planning anything until today, just a few days before I leave. If you're a seat-of-the-pants type guy, you're probably thinking, "why'd you start planning already?" Well, I guess I'm not a seat-of-the-pants type guy, but I'm trying to be one. I'm trying to take a vacation where I don't stress out about planning it, about being anywhere at any particular time, or about doing anything or not doing anything. I'm just going to take off Thursday morning, knowing a few friends and family I want to see along the way. Wish me luck.

Posted by Eli at 10:31 PM | Comments (5)

February 21, 2002

Being a captain is harder than it looks.

This is pretty amazing: a tugboat comes to a drawbridge that doesn't open. So it goes under anyway.

Posted by Eli at 11:29 AM | Comments (1)

Yahoo's crazy photos.

It seems like Yahoo always chooses a photo that makes someone look fairly retarded for their front page story. I saw this one today. A search for pictures of George Bush revealed these gems. I feel like I've missed some goodies, so feel free to comment with your own favorites.

Posted by Eli at 11:17 AM | Comments (4)

February 20, 2002

Good CSS tutorial.

While re-designing this site, I mentioned one site on learning CSS. Dave pointed me to this handy, straightforward tutorial by the same guy. He takes an existing table-based page on Apple's developer site and transforms it into a CSS-based page.

Posted by Eli at 12:10 PM | Comments (2)

February 19, 2002

I used to like technology trade shows.

I remember when I was a wee little lad, growing up in the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, I used to love going to the big tech trade shows that would come through town. Comdex was my favorite -- just tons of new gadgets and software that was plain "cool". My dad would score some free tickets from somebody at work, and then we would have to convince a security guard to let me in because I was at least a half decade short of the minimum age requirement of 18 (I'm still baffled as to why this restriction existed). I used to grab all the free magazines and literature and read through them start to finish. Once a nerd, always a nerd.

I know I'm older now, but I don't think I'm the only thing to have changed. It seems that these trade shows are now full of marketing people shouting some nonsensical speal directed at other marketing types. The trade rags are even less interesting.

That's why I think I might have enjoyed CodeCon, or at least that's the way it seems from reading various blogs and this news.com article about it. Just a bunch of unemployed nerds, with programs and ideas that could have a real impact on the net. Sounds fun to me.

Posted by Eli at 03:02 AM | Comments (7)

February 18, 2002

Windows XP, finally.

I finally upgraded my home machine to Windows XP Pro yesterday. I've been running crash-rich Win ME for over a year now, so it is really nice to get a (relatively) stable OS running. I'll let you know when it starts crashing.

XP has some nice features, especially for the not so technically inclined. Setting up your home network, internet connection sharing, transferring files from old computers, webcams, digital cameras, and printers are all easily set up under XP.

I have noticed that my CSS layout has a few issues under IE 6. I've never even tried looking at this site in Opera or Mozilla -- ignorance will be my excuse for not fixing those bugs.

Posted by Eli at 12:10 PM | Comments (2)

February 15, 2002

XHTML 1.0 Complience

Valid XHTML 1.0!I just spent a few hours attempting to make my site XHTML 1.0 complient. Don't ask why, because I'm not sure. Maybe so I can display this nifty little icon.

For the most part, I didn't have very many major errors. Many of the errors were in the extreme-tracking code I use to track usage of my site. The code they gave me wasn't XHTML complient. Mainly missing quotation marks around values of attributes (such as height=3 instead of height="3"), but there were a few other things I learned as well. Ampersands in URL's need to be encoded so they look like& (why is this?), and all script tags must have a type attribute. Overall, I would have to say that converting to XHTML 1.0 compliance is a pain.

Posted by Eli at 04:34 PM | Comments (3)

February 14, 2002

The internet could be huge for olympic coverage

I'm always bummed out by the coverage I get of the olympics. During the summer games, I was pretty excited to see the world's best table tennis competition, but sadly enough NBC didn't show a lick of it. It seems things are the same in the winter games. In the U.S. we get to see coverage of all the sports that American athletes excel at, and not too much more.

Wouldn't it be great if I could tune in online to all the events that I want to see? I know we have the technology, and I know there are a lot of people out there who would be willing to pay for it. There would probably be even more people willing to watch ads in order to see the events they want to watch. This article sums it up nicely. Come on, guys, give us what we want. Or at least show a little ping-pong at the next summer games.

Posted by Eli at 12:06 PM | Comments (3)

As nerdy as Valentine's Day can get.

Well, this has to be a first. CmdrTaco proposes on slashdot. Now that's nerdy.

Posted by Eli at 10:32 AM | Comments (4)

February 08, 2002

Silly optometrist.

I just went to the eye doctor's today. Every time I go they seem to have some new piece of cool equipment in there. This time they had something that measured the curvature of my eye just by looking into it.

Anyway, after the first part of my exam, the optometrist put some drops in my eye to dilate them. She then told me to go pick out what type of glasses I wanted, and then we would finish with the exam.

Well, that kind of annoyed me right there. These optometrists always just lead you to believe that this is where you get your glasses, at their (usually) overpriced store where they can make a little more money off you. They do it so mater-of-factly, like there is no other option. They never give you your prescription until you ask for it. Anyway, I started biding my time by looking around at the various styles of frames they have, but within a few minutes I can't see anything clearly because my eyes are dilated! How do they expect you to pick out a set of frames if you can't see?

Posted by Eli at 02:17 AM | Comments (2)

February 06, 2002

Making big decisions.

I was just reading Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. It's a very entertaining book full of Feynman's memoirs. In a few different stories he describes how amazed he is that some "great man" can make enormously important decisions in small time frames, after weighing all available options. Feynman states how he himself can not decide anything in a short amount of time, let alone something as important as how to handle an atomic bomb.

Although I don't suffer from the genius that Feynman does, I could definitely relate to his problem of making decisions. It always seems like there is more to be considered to make an informed decision. This appears to be especially true today, in the clichéd "information age." You could spend months discovering tidbits of information about any given topic on the internet. How do you know when to stop? I don't.

Posted by Eli at 05:14 PM | Comments (2)

Is Depression Worth It?

Is it ever worthwhile to be depressed? You're probably thinking, why the hell are you asking such an asinine question! Of course not. Of course depression isn't worth it. You should try to get out of whatever funk you're in ASAP.

But maybe depression has some value.

Maybe being in a low state has some type of value that we don't recognize. Perhaps it is part of a natural grieving process that humans must incur to move on with their lives; one of many steps in the million step program of life.

Or perhaps depression is valuable to have at times so that you can look back upon it and realize how great your life is at other times. Let me give you an example. I went to school at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Often times during a school year it would rain for a month straight –- you wouldn't see the sun once. The only time you would see people outdoors on campus is when they were scurrying from one class to the next, bundled from head to toe in rain gear. But then a sunny day would come, and it would be as if Moses just parted the Red Sea. It was amazing! People would come out of the woodwork. The quad at the center of campus would be full of people playing frisbee, everyone is eating their lunch outside, radios are blasting, people are chatting, and you would see people on campus that you had never seen before! It was wonderful. But why was it so wonderful? Because we hadn't seen the shining sun in so long. We had to miss it for a while to really appreciate it.

Somehow I doubt that people who went to college in southern California had the same sensation. And perhaps people who have never felt the onslaught of depression are in the same boat. Perhaps they enjoy life, but maybe they can't enjoy the immense highs that those who have experienced the deep lows of depression can.

Or perhaps depression is pointless.

Posted by Eli at 01:44 AM | Comments (3)