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Now You See Me…

Just some fair warning: meyerweb may be sporadically offline over the weekend, as my hosting provider (the incomparable gang at The Opal Group) switches locations, upgrades services, and that sort of thing.  So if you drop by and don’t get a response, try again later.  In the meantime, go for a walk, plant a tree, or scratch a puppy behind the ear.  They really love that.

It’s already the last third of June, and what I want to know is this:  how did so much of the year disappear so quickly?

Back From SxSW

After a great breakfast at El Sol y La Luna and a quick chat with Tantek on der cellphonen, I spent most of the day on planes and arrived back in Cleveland this evening sans Kat; we parted ways in Houston as I flew back home and she flew to San Francisco for a conference of her own.  I miss her already.

A quick SxSW Interactive braindump:

  • There was nowhere near enough time for me to talk with everyone I wanted to talk to, let alone spend time on it and really get in-depth.
  • WiFi is a particularly sharp sword of the two-edged variety.  It’s great to be able to check mail and IM while you’re sitting in a session, but it’s also kind of rude.  I sat listening to Bruce Sterling talk, and sort of felt like I was the only one doing so as everyone around me typed furiously.
  • Speaking of which, Tantek posted this journal entry while sitting on the podium during our panel.  While I was talking, in fact.
  • Apparently the panel was very, very well received.  There was a good deal of positive feedback from various people, and I heard a rumor that we scored very high on the audience evaluation cards.
  • If you’re going to have live entertainment in a small space, try not to deafen everyone with too much volume and way too much feedback.  (No, I’m not talking about Fray Café, which was very well mixed.)
  • Now I am talking about Fray Café: Scott Andrew’s bet-winning song is both a hoot and a holler.  Although it was much funnier when Scott performed it.
  • Apparently in Texas they spell it “Austin Geek Party” but pronounce it “Adult Webmasters Party.”  A small group of us found this out by dropping in to talk to the Austin geeks.  Imagine our surprise!
  • If there’s one useful thing I’ve learned about Austin, it’s that you need to either stay downtown or rent a car.  We did neither, to the detriment of our overall experience.
  • Cory Doctorow is a very high-speed guy.

Possibly I’ll have more to say, upon reflection.  For the moment, I’m going to go get some beauty sleep so I’ll be at my best for tomorrow’s Web Design Meetup.

Waiting For the Ebb

We all have fluctuating stress levels in our lives, and I’m currently fighting through a relative high tide.  Starting a few days ago, all kinds of pressure came flowing in, and I keep waiting for the ebb.  A while back, I assembled the “Fear” quadrology in iTunes, and it was the first thing I fired up this morning.

To you—is it movement, or is it action? Is it contact, or just reaction? And you—revolution, or just resistance? Is it living, or just existence?
(from “The Enemy Within“)

After the quadrology finishes, it’s a tossup between The Prodigy and Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert.  That should tell you how divergent my internal states are getting.

Nevertheless, I’m still interested in hearing about outbound traffic rates for large sites (see Saturday’s entry).  I’ve found a few plans that charge a nickel per megabyte—is that about the average?  Anyone paying a lot more or less than that?

Greek Gaming Gaffe

I’m sure I’ll be one of about six hundred thousand people making this particular observation, but here we go anyway: electronic games are now illegal in Greece.  Have been ever since the end of July, in fact.  If I show up in Greece with my cell phone, which has a few games built in and which I can’t remove, I could face a year of jail time and up to a 75,000 euro fine.  I suppose the fact that people can be just as deeply stupid the world over as here in America should be in some way comforting, but instead I find myself deeply frightened.

Maybe This Explains Lassie

I’ve been saying for years that dogs are smarter than most people think, and cats far dumber than they’re generally thought to be.  It would seem there’s scientific research to back me up on the first part of that claim.  My theory is that people mistake a nearly total lack of comprehension for indifference in cats, and an eager friendliness for idiocy in dogs.  The mere fact that dogs can almost without exception be trained to perform tasks, and cats generally can’t, always indicated to me more intelligence in the canine species.

And before you all start e-mailing me about this smart cat you own or knew once, or about dumb-as-a-post dogs piddling on your shoes and refusing to be trained, I’ll freely admit that both exist.  Humans run the gamut of intelligence, so it should come as no surprise that other species have a similar range of cognitive abilities (or lack thereof).  Similarly, don’t bother telling me about how cats are so smart they ignore attempts to train them as being beneath their dignity, because I don’t buy it.  I’ve known too many cats.

Back In Cleveland

We just got back from Seattle, where I delivered a well-received keynote address at Web Design World and had a good time poking around the city with Kat in my few spare hours.  At the conference, I got to catch up with some old friends, meet some folks for the first time, and life was generally cool.  The weather was beautiful, actually; sunny and highs in the 80s and 90s.  Apparently this constitutes a heat wave in Seattle, since all the weatherpersons were telling people to take it easy and drink a lot of fluids.  We found this incredibly funny.  Well, I’m sure they think our winters are deadly cold, too.

Eric Meyer on CSS is starting to get reviews, and they’re good ones.  Check out the book’s companion Web site for details and links.  I think my favorite review line so far is this: “As you’re reading the book, you get the feeling Meyer isn’t fighting the medium, he’s working with it in almost a Zen-like way.”

Tuesday, 4 June 2002

The power supply arrived today, thanks to a “I’ll pay for overnight delivery” call to Arescom, and we’re back on DSL.  You can still expect me to take longer than usual to reply to any e-mail you may have sent, as I was effectively offline for three days and the latest session of my CSS2 course just started up on Monday.  So I’m going to be a touch busy.

Monday, 3 June 2002

The power brick for our DSL modem fried itself late Friday afternoon, so now I’m sipping the Internet through a 45.2Kbps straw.  Expect longer-than-usual delays in responses to e-mail and newsgroup postings.  I hope to have a replacement brick in hand by tomorrow… keep your fingers (as opposed to your wires) crossed for me.

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