zen.org Communal Weblog

October 23, 2004

Everywhere a Sign

Filed under: — Sven @ 17:27 GMT

Last Tuesday I woke up with a Mike Fitzpatrick for congress sign on my lawn, the Republican. I removed it, and sent a Mr. Fitzpatrick headquarters an email.

Today 余艾蕾 and I received a mailing paid for by the RNC. It called Mr. Fitzpatrick’s Democratic opponent, Ginny Schrader, un-American because she showed Michael Moore’s movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, at a fund raiser. I don’t know much about Ms. Schrader and I have not seen Fahrenheit 9/11, but calling free speech un-American in un-American. They are allowed to call it that, but it makes the RNC, um, un-American. Even Iran can distinguish between the actions of US citizens and it’s government, apparently Republicans can’t.

Both the Democrat and the Republican parties are liars and will do anything, not short of breaking the law and toppling government, to stay in power.

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Mobile email

Filed under: — elana @ 12:19 GMT

I’m going through some mini hell trying to make my phone be able to connect to my vodafone email and download it to my mobile. It shouldn’t be hard, right? Wrong. I keep getting SSL connection failed, no matter what I do. Of course, trying to log into my email over their per-minute charge wap interface gets me closer (at least there I’m asked for user id and pw). They don’t really make it clear which user id and pw you should use tho. I hate that. So I’m tryin all these different combos to make it work. Thankfully, I think I got a decent guy on the help line…who just told me we have to go to the shop to have them test my (2 week old) SIM card. Argh.

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Ego

Filed under: — Sven @ 10:16 GMT

Zoë, just over four months old, is no longer the youngest person at day care. I’m happy a baby started there half her age. With us, wherever she goes she is the center of attention, up till now she was also the center of attention at day care. Maybe now she will be second seat for the first time. Can’t have a child with a big ego, you know.

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October 22, 2004

Look out

Filed under: — brendan @ 17:04 GMT

Like my cousin so aptly put it, Holy freaking crap on a stick. I guarantee you’ll want to replay it, if solely for the shock value…not for the timid.

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Fearless

Filed under: — brendan @ 14:43 GMT

Fear and Loathing, Campaign 2004, Hunter S. Thompson in RollingStone

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Innocent joy

Filed under: — brendan @ 14:01 GMT

Last night, I was playing with our two year-old son Patrick in the livingroom before dinner. A complex system of wooden train track spread its way across the floor, bridges and tunnels and sudden turns galore. But for some reason, we both appeared—at least momentarily—to be fast asleep on the floor.

The whole project had started in the kitchen with a sudden crash against my legs similar in force to that of a miniature freight train. Looking up at me with his head now tall enough to reach my waist, eyes wide and mouth wider, was a very eager Patrick.

“Dad, want to play a puzzle, hmm? Want to? Hmm?” came the invitation. I mean, seriously, how could I possibly say no? We went into the dining room where he selected the Winnie the Pooh alphabet puzzle, a great Christmas gift from one of my aunts. Making our way into the livingroom, he looked back a couple of times to confirm I was still following him and hadn’t suddenly vanished back into the kitchen.

Interest in the puzzle lasted only long enough to get pieces out of the box. (When prompted he correctly identified the letters ‘A’ and ‘D’ on the large puzzle pieces, our little genius. Will it happen if I try again now? Nah, probably not.) A few minutes into the effort, one attempt to join ‘K’ and ‘F’ pieces together made obvious to anyone watching just how seriously flawed this puzzle was. It really didn’t matter anymore.

Puzzle pieces cast aside, P went straight to one of his current addictions: trains.

About half an hour went by with the detailed construction of a modern transit system. Once all imaginary passengers of his 1-Engine-and-4-Cars train happily traveled over his bridge a few times, it became clear to P that his work here was done. He stood up from sitting on the floor and walked (all of two feet) over to me. His arm wrapped around my neck, and his other hand firmly grasped my shoulder.

“It’s time to sleep,” he said, looking straight into my eyes. With the aide of his body weight, he pulled my torso down onto the floor. Not like a professional wrestler, but still not the most subtle action you’ve ever seen. Propping himself up, he pulled my left arm over so it was reaching across the floor and lay down with his head resting over my elbow.

Two seconds later from on top of my arm came a loud resonating snore, coupled with an impressive exhalation of air. A pause, snore and breath repeated, then his head popped up.

“Dad, it’s time to sleep!” Oops. I guess I’d been leaning up too long. My head rested against my shoulder, and as he began his next amazing snore I offered my own version. A couple of snores later he started giggling and looked up at me. Eyes open, he gave another strong snore, and exhaled with force into my face. More laughs from both of us.

“Want to sleep again?” he asked me. These questions tend to be clearly rhetorical, so his head quickly went back down to my arm for another round of who can snore better? in which I would surely be in second place.

A few minutes later it was dinner time, and he leaped up and ran out of the room, leaving me to quickly restore the floor to its previous state. As I put the last of the train cars into their box and lifted the puzzle to put it back on its shelf, I got another one of those curious emotional floods. Not an urge to cry or that sort of thing, more the sensation you get when first waking up from a good night’s sleep.

I’d just spent the last half hour with my head clear of everything, relishing in nothing but P’s unrestrained happiness. His incredible curiosity about everything couples perfectly with a form of pure innocent joy. Evidenced by scheming grins and squeals of delight, his good spirits prove to be just as contagious as his laughter.

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CSS is your friend.

Filed under: — brendan @ 09:47 GMT

I found that Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, and undoubtedly other browsers weren’t making the background gradient (the cool white-to-gray pattern) look correct from the style I was trying. For whatever reason, they made the square around the pen image more obvious; I tried playing with the background-* settings, and changing gradient.gif to gradient.jpg (expecting issues around GIF patents), but no change. So now we’re trying Jaws pattern from the same style contest. Early morning silliness.

Nope, konqueror hadn’t shaken off its headache when I looked this morning, so I get to try to recreate the story from (my) memory later.

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October 21, 2004

Konqueror is WEAK.

Filed under: — brendan @ 22:22 GMT

Three time now in the last two days, I’ve written a story for my blog and because of some random kestroke the KDE browser Konqueror goes running happily into an infinite loop, never to return. This most recent loss was sharing a great time I had with our 2 year-old son before dinner. Time to either download and build the latest KDE to see if it’s improved, or just stick with Mozilla Firefox and stop trying to settle with the default. It’s too frustrating to find myself trying to type a Euro symbol (Compose + ‘=’ + ‘e’) or hit Compose & another letter, only to find the browser oblivious and unretrievable.

I suppose I could make the KDE window manager no longer understand the Compose key, but that would force me to revert to doing a Copy & Paste to type a Euro symbol, a character I actually need every few days. Bleah. Fine, I’ll let Konqueror spend the night with its own interests and see if what I was writing is miraculously still there in the morning. Nighty night.

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Playing with styles

Filed under: — brendan @ 14:05 GMT

I’m giving the artistic efforts of others a try. Today, it’s a slightly tweaked copy of Hadley Wickham’s great entry entiltled Rubric in Alex King’s style contest.

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Go Vote!

Filed under: — brendan @ 14:02 GMT

Weird, I was going to suggest you go over to Global Vote 2004 and cast a vote for your choice in the US election. It sends you a confirmation email with a link you click to prove that you’re not fake. (This isn’t to say such a bit of hackery couldn’t be created for an infinite number of accounts casting an infinite number of votes. Or a few million, anyway.) I tried doing it first to make sure it’s working, and got “You have already voted or you are using a fake security code” when I visited the confirmation link. Heh?? No note that it needs cookies to work, though I’m hesitant to try again.

There is no obvious way, at least spoken of on their site, about how they will prove the results as being legitimate. Not just made up for release 48 hours before election day to the global media to give an extra push to one candidate over the others. But now they’ve got my email address.

Conspiracy?

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