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Archive: February 2001

Monday, 26 February 2001

I was going to post more political material, but realized that I’m either becoming more activist, in which case I’ll soon be writing plenty of political stuff elsewhere; or else I’m going to stop caring again, in which case why bore us both with the transitory partisan nattering?  Like you need me to tell you what to think—I can barely figure out what I think.  Anyway, the catalyst for this near-ramble was an article titled “Education, Texas Style” which I found on CNN.com.  Feel free to read it and draw your own conclusions.  Then share them with me, or your friends, or your dog, or whoever.

The CSS2 class I’m teaching is now a week underway, and I get the distinct impression I’ve overwhlemed the students pretty thoroughly, in a big fly-meets-sledgehammer kind of way.  This was not my intention, I assure you, but I believe I’ve done it anyway.  I’m going to try some new approaches in week 2, to see if they help the students reach better understanding of the concepts we’re covering.  We’ll see.

Final edits on both new books should wrap this week, and the titles should hit shelves within a month or so.  In theory.  Then I get to think about things like “watching videos” and “relaxing,” which are oddly familiar terms I’ve heard other people use and have resolved to investigate more closely.

Monday, 19 February 2001

I was recently asked what I thought, as a liberal-type not-quite-Democrat, of the investigations into the Marc Rich pardon.  I hadn’t actually thought about it much, but was surprised to discover I had an immediate response: “From what I’ve heard, the pardon stinks to high heaven.  But unless there’s some reasonable chance of prosecuting Clinton for it, I would ask the Honorable Congressmen to please stop masturbating in public.”  Besides, isn’t anyone bothered by Clinton’s pardon of his own brother for drug-related charges?  Is nepotism less reprehensible than bribery?  (Note: I have no idea if there was any bribery involved in the Rich case or not, but that’s what everyone seems to be screaming about.)

For the love of Mike, people, he couldn’t be convicted while he was in office and had much bigger things to distract him, like nuclear proliferation and terrorists.  What makes anyone think the teflon will suddenly peel away now that he’s a private citizen with plenty of time and money to devote to his own defense?  The only thing conservatives are managing to do it perpetuate media coverage of a man they’ve worked so hard to bury.  This is your big chance, dittoheads.  You wanted Clinton gone.  So why do you keep dragging him back into the spotlight?

Irony patrol: the guy heading up the pardon investigation is none other than Dan Burton (R-Ind.).  Yep, mister “Bill Clinton is a scumbag; did I mention I fathered a child out of wedlock during an adulterous affair?” is once again presuming to pass judgment on the morality and decency of our ex-President.  Pot, this is kettle; kettle, pot.

Wednesday, 14 February 2001

Happy Valentine’s Day, or whatever.

Okay, I’m not actually bitter this year (for once!), but the holiday still drags at me a bit.  I think it’s the obligatory nature of the whole thing, the sense that if I don’t observe the holiday then I will suffer mightily for it.  And that’s not even coming from Kat, who is perfectly happy to buy herself a present and then say, “Look what you got me!”  I love her for that (and a whole lot more).  What I’m talking about is the general all-pervasive air of expectation which the holiday creates all on its own.  It isn’t nearly so bad as the anti-joy field which Christmas seems to generate, but it’s still there, taunting me.  Like, I don’t know, some kind of taunting thing.  Hm, apparently today is not a day for brilliance in letters.

Anyway, time to fill in the blanks in what’s been a very blankless life.  Kat started a new job two days ago, working as a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital in Bedford, and is interviewing for midwifery positions in and around the Cleveland area.  So she’s exchanged the stress of having no job for the stress of having to get up early in the morning.  She’s also been doing some volunteer work which takes two nights a week, so some days are fifteen hours long.  You’d think she was in my line of work.  Not that I pull fifteen-hour days, of course, but I hear that some people do.  She’s also been asked to write an article on Kangaroo Care for an online resource, and I suspect that once it’s done we’ll be reprinting it here on the site.

Speaking of writing, I’m wrapping up two books in the next week.  The easy one is the CSS Pocket Reference for O’Reilly & Associates, which required not much more than repackaging portions of the first book, polishing the text a bit, and running with it.  The second, the CSS2.0 Programmer’s Reference for Osborne/McGraw-Hill, required substantially more work in many ways.  For example, I had to figure out some of the nuances of parts of CSS2 which I’ve never really visited.  Since it isn’t a tutorial, though, it meant that I could just concentrate on explaining properties and values and not worrying about stuff like illustrations.  I suspect they’ll both hit shelves within a month of each other.  And, of course, there’s the start of my HWG-sponsored CSS2 class this coming Monday.  Is this too much Eric all at once?  You decide.

Tuesday, 13 February 2001

Jeez, have I ever fallen behind.  Things are flying every which way, metaphorically speaking, and trying to duck the swooping events while also being productive has consumed a lot of time and energy.  All of which is my lame way of saying, “Sorry I’ve been so silent.”  I’m not going to really do penance right now, either, because I don’t have time to make up for it.  Maybe tomorrow, we’ll see.  So why am I writing?  I have two recommendations to make.  The first one is for Clevelanders who want some great Japanese food: go straight to Matsu and don’t come back until you have.  If you’d like to meet Kat and I there, then let me know and we’ll schedule something.  Second is for anyone buying technical books: Bookpool.  They have great prices on stuff like O’Reilly books, so if you aren’t going to use a local merchant to get your tech references, go to Bookpool instead.  I get absolutely no money from them for saying this, nor have I ever ordered from them; I just noticed that their prices are outstandingly low, and wanted to give everyone else a heads-up.

February 2001
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