Saturday, June 28, 2003

  Click for larger view (For those of you new to this blog, one of the very first things that I blogged about was Fake British Guy. Fake British Guy, or FBG as we like to call him, is a college student from a small town about 25 miles away who inexplicably speaks with a fake British accent. He has been doing this for nearly two years now. FBG is tall and slim, my friend Todd describes his look as "Eurotrash", and he has this blond hairdo that is that has that artfully messy "I fell out of bed looking this good" that probably takes a half an hour and three or more styling products to achieve.)

Friday was my day off and I stopped by our central branch to have a plastic cover put on my British children's edition of the new Harry Potter book, when I crossed paths with FBG. I had just gotten in my car to leave, when I saw him getting out of his car to go in. Now, I see him all the time, but it is usually when I'm working, so I don't have access to a camera, and it is usually indoors, so flashless shots come out fuzzy. But here he was walking down the street in broad daylight! So I whipped out the camera and got a fleeting shot of him as I drove away...

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

  A must have for Americans abroad: The American Apology T-shirt (link from Jessica)

Monday, June 16, 2003

  AmazonWorld: selected customer reviews from amazon.com (link from David)

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Friday, June 13, 2003

  Click here to hear a preview of the new Harry Potter novel!

  Oooh freaky deaky, my Blogger interface looks different than it did yesterday!

Anyway, Drew asked me to post this:
I have a pair of leather pants that are size 32 waist. The legs have not been cut or hemmed, so there is PLENTY of inseam to work with (maybe all the way up to a 36 or 38 inseam!) What I would like to do is, if there is anyone out there reading this, or knows of someone who has a pair, I would like to trade them for a pair of 34 waist 32 inseam pair of black leather pants. Do me a favor and ask around to see if anyone you may know would be willing to make the trade.


Wednesday, June 11, 2003

  So, I just finished Tell No One by Harlan Coben. All in all, I liked it, but there was this one mistake, when the main character visits a public library to do some research...
I hurried back over to the librarian. "I need to find a twelve-year-old article from the New Jersey Journal," I said.
"It wasn't in their Web archive?"
I shook my head.
"Microfiche," she said, slapping the sides of her chair to rise. "What month?"
She was a large woman and her walk was labored. She found the roll in a file drawer and then helped me thread the tape through the machine. I sat down. "Good luck," she said.
I fiddled with the knob, as if it were a throttle on a new motorcycle. The microfiche shreiked through the mechanism. I stopped every few seconds to see where I was. It took me less than two minutes to find the right date. The article was on page three.
Even the non-library folks will probably be able to spot the problem with that passage. What surprises me more than the error itself is the fact that no one caught it and corrected it before the paperback edition was published.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

  What kind of blogger am I?
brought to you by Quizilla
"You are an enigma wrapped in a mystery, you blog for yourself. You have your own reasons for doing what you do."

Thursday, June 05, 2003

  James and I watched Secretary the other night. It's a sort of black comedy, love story of a lawyer and his secretary who have this S&M relationship, based on this short story by Mary Gaitskill. I wonder if these people watched the movie too!

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

  The Return of Fake British Guy

From Mitch:
Last Saturday, I went out with some friends, we went to Leroy's for karaoke... But the funniest thing was that FBG came with us. He was with some of my friend Matt's friends! Not only that his AUNT was at Leroy's and she was very..."White-trash" looking? And she was with a man who resembled a cross between an emaciated Lurch and Jethro Clampett, with a pinch of Burt Reynolds. Not only that, but they couldn't keep their hands off each other and it was one long PDA. FBG tried to ignore it, but she dedicated a song to him (something country), hugged him, and introduced herself to all of us. Just thought you'd like to know!

Later on IM:
Kate: Great story about FBG!
Mitchy: I thought you might like it! :)
Kate: Was he doing the accent?
Mitchy: I was at the opposite end of the table so I didn't get to hear him except when he introduced himself, and at that time he was!
Kate: Funny!
Kate: So how did he act after you all found out that that was his aunt?
Mitchy: He was mortified, but he tried to smile and be "cool". He was upset there was no draught beer and only domestic longnecks.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

  Newly digital: writing about your earliest computer experiences

The first experience with a computer that I can remember was on a SouthWest Technologies computer in my dad's shop in my grandparent's basement. Dad was letting me play a rudimentary game on it where the playing field was defined with asterisks (the large, old skool ascii ones) and you were represented, I think, by an X, and you were trying to keep away from one or more zeros. To move, you would type in the coordinates of the adjacent space that you wanted to move to. I would point to where I wanted to go, and Dad would type in the coordinates, and the computer would regenerate the playing field reflecting my move, and it's countermove. I must have been about 3 or 4, so this would have been in '76 or '77. I also remember being frequently spanked during this period for playing with computer parts that I took from Dad's workbench in our dining room.

When one of Dad's computers was available for use, I frequently played Adventure on it:
ADVENT /ad'vent/ /n./

The prototypical computer adventure game, first designed by Will Crowther on the PDP-10 in the mid-1970s as an attempt at computer-refereed fantasy gaming, and expanded into a puzzle-oriented game by Don Woods at Stanford in 1976. Now better known as Adventure, but the TOPS-10 operating system permitted only six-letter filenames. See also vadding, Zork, and Infocom.

This game defined the terse, dryly humorous style since expected in text adventure games, and popularized several tag lines that have become fixtures of hacker-speak: "A huge green fierce snake bars the way!" "I see no X here" (for some noun X). "You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike." "You are in a little maze of twisty passages, all different."

ADVENT sources are available for FTP at //ftp.wustl.edu/doc/misc/if-archive/games/source/advent.tar.Z.

The first computer we kids had that was our very own to trash use was an Atari 400. We had a few of the Atari cartridges (Pac-Man, Chess, BASIC, etc.) but most of the games we had came on cassette, later disks, and were ordered through the mail. They were take-offs on arcade games and Atari/Activision games, but better, because they took advantage of the better graphics and sound, and usually improved on the original game concept. (Ironically, I was jealous of my cousins' who had a regular games console, and they were jealous of our Atari system.) From time to time, one of us kids would knock over a glass of Kool-Aid into the computer...we would hit the power switch, and run like Hell! We'd give it a day or two to dry out, cross our fingers, and turn it on. It always booted right up as if nothing had ever happened. (I have no idea why mom and dad never noticed that we would spend every spare moment on the computer, and then avoid it like the plague for days on end...)

I was aware of the Internet because my dad talked about it, but when I first saw people writing email in '95 I was puzzled -- that was something that only computer people like my dad did, not your average Joe... That fall, various friends of mine who lived out-of-town started using email, and encouraged me to try it. I got an account through the university, and later my first Hotmail account. (When Todd first told me that about his Hotmail account, I thought that he said, "HotMale"...)