Posts from May 2002

Thursday, 30 May 2002

Published 21 years, 4 months past

I experienced a touch of techno-frisson this evening.  The phone rang, and when I answered it, it turned out to be a sales call offering to refinance my mortgage.  Just as the words “we’re calling to offer competitive interest rates on mortgage refinancing” left the guy’s mouth and grated across my eardrum, e-mail dropped into my Inbox with the subject line current mortgage interest rate.

I had no idea I seemed so desperate for a new mortgage.  (Which I’m not, thanks.)

THIS IS SPAM Spam continues to stay in the forefront of my (mostly negative) thinking.  I do have to give major honesty points to a message I received a few weeks back.  When I opened it up (I still don’t know why I did) I found what’s depicted in the accompanying graphic.  They may be the scum of humanity, but at least they’re up front about what they do.  I have to respect that.  I admit I laughed out loud when I saw it, then took a screenshot and deleted the message.

The other thing I wanted to mention is from the “this is funny but I’m laughing as much at the audacity as the humor” department:  The Onion managed this week to put a surreal  perspective on current events.  You know, it almost does make sense…

Brief correction: apparently the painting I liked so much isn’t called “Deception” any more.  Now it’s called “Ear Drops”.  Personally, I think the original title worked better.

Wednesday, 29 May 2002

Published 21 years, 4 months past

Now available: the pre-publication Web site for Eric Meyer on CSS, which contains information about the book and its author, a preview of some project files, and more.

I was particularly proud of this morning’s edition of “Your Father’s Oldsmobile.”  You can grab a copy to listen for yourself by going to WRUW‘s Wednesday archive.  It will be a 56kpbs copy of what I broadcast this morning, which for two hours of music still clocks in at almost 50MB—but if you like Big Band-era music, you might get a kick out of the show.

I realized just recently that I was out of my home state for 17 of the last 33 days, spread out over three trips.  Bleah.

Tuesday, 21 May 2002

Published 21 years, 4 months past

Kat and I just got back from a six-day trip to be with her family, to celebrate her father’s birthday.  I returned to 1,334 messages in my personal mail account, most of them from mailing lists.  But about 345 of those messages were spam.  I’m reluctantly coming to the conclusion that if there’s one hanging offense on the Internet, spamming is it.

Granted, I’ve been online almost a decade and never really went to much trouble to disguise my e-mail address, a policy for which I am now paying every day of the year, as I try to clear my Inbox of crap without accidentally throwing away messages from people who legitimately want to talk to me—about CSS, about what I write here, about life in general.  It’s an annoyance I really could do without, but it’s way too late now.  The spam will stop when I go permanently offline, and not a day before.

The point of all this is not just to whine, although I admit it feels a little better to have vented.  The point is that if you really want to talk to me, don’t give your message a subject like Hey there :), as one correspondent did in the last six days.  I very nearly trashed it out of hand, along with a few dozen urgent appeals for help from Nigerian mining widows, detailed make-money-fast schemes, offers of herbal viagra supplements, and so on.  Please, I beseech you, make your subject lines descriptive in some way, and try to make them unambiguous.  Otherwise, your message may find itself in the bit-bucket.

Monday, 13 May 2002

Published 21 years, 4 months past

Molly, like us and just about everyone we know, is going through a very difficult period in her life.  In a block of text that blurs the line between prose and poetry, she pours a small portion of that turmoil into her Web site.

For some reason Molly’s words made me think of a painting that, without her, I would never have seen: Lu Jian Jun‘s oil-on-canvas work “Deception” “Ear Drops”.  The small image of the painting cannot hope to convey the subtle, exquisitely vibrant luminosity of the original, which I saw at the Weinstein Contemporary Artist Gallery in San Francisco two weeks back.  They have a number of other paintings by the same artist, every one of them beautiful.  If you have the chance, go see the paintings, and do it quickly.  There is a show dedicated to Jun’s work coming soon, and I would not be surprised if every piece is gone by the end of the show.  I didn’t buy “Deception” myself because it would have cost more than the averaged value of an entire floor of my house… but I very much wished that I could.

Friday, 10 May 2002

Published 21 years, 4 months past

Issue 144 of A List Apart (“for people who make websites”) has been published and contains an article by yours truly.  Title: “Going to Print”.  Subject: creating print-specific styles for A List Apart, thus illustrating how to style documents for print so that no “click here for a printer-friendly version” page is needed.  In tone, “Going to Print” is very similar to the projects in my forthcoming book, Eric Meyer on CSS, so you could consider it a very short preview of what to expect there.

Thursday, 9 May 2002

Published 21 years, 4 months past

A long couple of weeks, including a trip to California that got cut a little short.

I fixed the link to the orbit debris story, which disappeared shortly after I linked to it.  Here’s what I find interesting: I linked to it on 23 April.  The URL of the story indicates it was published on 3 May.  So far as I’m aware, I haven’t been time-traveling, so what happened?  In addition, the text of the article is very different than it used to be, including (among other things) a removal of any information about the closing of the Orbital Debris Program Office.  Why would an article literally disappear for ten days and then come back with a much different tone?  I don’t mind writing followup pieces that incorporate new information, of course, but this isn’t a followup.  It’s a replacement.  What happened to the original?  I wish now that I’d saved the original to my hard drive, just to be able to compare.

I’m feeling a little paranoid about this.  Of course, that might be due to watching All the President’s Men last night.

I also notice that the links to the “pure evil in Macs” Web site aren’t working.  I seem to have the ability to evaporate pages and sites just by linking to them.  Boy, if that were true, I’d start linking to so many extremist sites it would make both our heads spin.

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