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©2001 Andy J. W. Affleck
Saturday, September 01, 2001
Our Garden, 2001. A huge page (I put all the pictures on a single page -- sorry about that) which will take a modem viewer quite some time to download (about 3-5 minutes) but which has lots of great pictures and the story of our garden this year. Of course, you have to be into flowers and gardens to care...(10:14 PM)

Some pictures from today's grand opening of the new Apple Store at the Northshore Mall.(8:53 PM)

Boston Globe Online / Sports / Kerrigan managed to make matters worse. This is a dead on critique of Kerrigan's management of last night's disaster against the Yankees.(12:54 PM)

Friday, August 31, 2001
CamWorld: Thinking Outside the Box(10:58 PM) - Toolbox for Mac Professionals(10:46 PM)

Derek Lowe blew yet another game for the Red Sox. Life sucks.(10:14 PM)

I got the Titanium. Life is good.(9:51 PM)

The Mac Observer: The Back Page - The Mysterious Case Of The Free Mac OS X Upgrade That Will Cost You US$20(9:03 PM)

Apple Polishes Its Image in Education "...a Windows computer would be a good choice for a class on trouble-shooting."(8:56 PM)

Applesurf. Good news site for Apple.(8:53 PM)

Pigdog Journal (Mr. Bad's List) -- Things to Say When You're Losing a Technical Argument(8:40 PM)

I'm a Cow. I don't know who, why, how, or really what... but this is damn funny.(8:35 PM) points out this article: Quicken '02: OS X version has limits and asks the question: how is this the OS's fault? I agree completely. The article is clearly written by someone who doesn't understand the situation. Even more interesting, is this email discussion one person had with the author of the article.(7:52 AM) - Chandra going strong, hunting black holes. Shameless self-promotion. We (Ragged Castle Design, that is, me and Ann) did the website for the Chandra.(7:42 AM)

Thursday, August 30, 2001
Yesterday was Ann's birthday. Drop her belated birthday wishes: ann at (written out to spoil spam spiders. I figure you're smart enough to figure it out :)(10:13 PM)

A trio of Jack stories:

1) We took Jack to the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island yesterday. It was both magical (the first half hour) and a nightmare (the second half hour). Before I go into detail you should know that we have a black cat named Robin. Jack calls him ah-BAH which is the closest he can come to saying Robin. And, in fact, it's what he calls all animals. Squirrels in our yard? AhBAH. Birds? AhBAH. You get the idea. Anyway, we rolled him up to the Zebra pen and I picked him up. He stared at the Zebra with sheer wonder in his eyes and whispered "Ah... Bah..." and then began repeating it over and over. He was just amazed to see the Zebra. Next was the elephant. That just blew him away. The giraffe? A miracle. Those first few animals just changed his life. He was staggered in wonder by them. Then it went to hell. First he refused to go back into his stroller so we let him walk. But he refused to hold either of our hands after awhile and it began to be a struggle. It basically ended with him having a knock-down, drag-out tantrum in the middle of the Zoo. But after a few moments we salvaged the situation and I started walking really fast (for him) with him holding my hand through the Wetlands of Rhode Island area. And that was a lot of fun until the swan bit him. You see, no one ever warned me about swans. So, when we were on the low wooden bridge with the swan in the water just two feet away, no one was more surprised than I when the swan shot forward and tried to bite Jack's hand. Luckily, Jack wasn't hurt or even spooked by this event and no skin was broken. But, still, it was pretty freaky. Now I know about swans and how nasty they are.

2) Today we let Jack run around the back yard of Ann's parents' house in Cranston, RI. After awhile he was pretty dirty what with the muddy puddles, his sandbox, and the lawn. And since it was pretty warm out, we decided to have some fun with him. We got the hose out, turned on the water and put the spray gun on the end with the "shower" setting on (which makes it act just like a bathroom shower - a nice even spray). Jack loved it. We stripped him down to just his diaper (think Tommy in Rugrats) and let him run around with the hose gun. He enjoyed spraying things, spraying himself, and just running around spraying nothing in particular. When I tried to go and take the hose back from him he simply pointed the stream of water right at me. He loved it when I ran away. And I kept running around trying to get close to him to take the house and he kept spraying me and howling with laughter. Finally I caught him and threw him into a warm bubble bath Ann had already drawn for him. It was a lovely, wet morning.

3) Jack has fallen in love with crayons. He now draws every meal as part of the mealtime ritual. He eats some Cheerios while he draws on the backs of old printouts I no longer need. His first piece ever is up on the fridge (and I'll get it online if I ever get our old SCSI scanner working with my newer, SCSI free computer). And through this process (and watching him try to feed himself) we've noticed that he's rather ambidextrous. He's more proficient with his left hand but he still tries to use both. He doesn't seem to want to settle on either. Interesting...

Well, those are the Jack stories du jour. Cheers!(10:11 PM)

A Duck's Bill an Ostrich's Legs = a Dinosaur(9:59 PM)

Bach Invention No. 13 in A minor. This is just too cool...(8:48 PM)

Calendar Live - Report to New Bridge. I was wondering whether the Kingons would look like the 1967 Klingons or the 1979 and onwards Klingons... Have to admit, I'm pretty excited to see this show. I've been a Trekker for my entire life (never rabid, but enough to be frightening) and I've also long been a Scott Bakula fan. Still skeptical if he's going to make a good captain, but I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised. September 26 at 8PM: Either me or the Tivo I hope to get will be there and watching.(8:41 PM)

Wednesday, August 29, 2001
Well, I'm gone until Thursday night. Today is Ann's birthday and we're off to Rhode Island for the next two days. These are my last attempts at any sort of vacation before i start the new job next week. So, we'll be back Thursday evening and I'll blog more then. Ciao!(7:14 AM)

Ultimately, I'm coming down on the TiBook side. Here are my reasons:

  • Mac OS X. Bottom line, I want to run OS X. I've been using it continually since April and it has worked and worked well for me. I know its quirks and I get how it works. And I'm a UNIX geek. I like getting under the hood of my Mac in new, scary ways.
  • Graphic Design: I still do a lot of design work in Phtoshop, Fireworks, Freehand, etc. I want the extra speed boost.
  • Screen Size: I get that the iBook's screen is excellent, but it's still tiny. And I just don't have the target demographic's vision any longer. Hell, I've got the 15.1" flat panel display at home running 1024x768 and I find myself thinking I need reading glasses. I can only imagine the contortions I will go through to properly read the iBook's screen. And the extra real-estate is going to be a nice thing to have as well.

Now, this machine will be for work (my new job) rather than a personal machine so things like iMovie and FireWire and MP3s and such, don't really apply. I want to be able to do all of those things but it's no fair to push my needs off on my new employers. And both laptops will do these things fine enough. And I always have my home cube for that kind of thing. Ultimately, I have to approach this at the level of: What will be the best tool to make me the most productive in my new role? Ultimatley, the TiBook. I almost wish I didn't need a portable, but I'm going to be on the road a fair amount and I've used one for so many years now that I am far too used to having all of my work with me at all times allowing me the maximum in flexibility in getting stuff done no matter where I am.(7:13 AM)

IGM - TiBook v. iBook: Half the 'Book or Half the Price? "...if you're coming from a ...Pismo background, you'll note there's only a nominal or zero performance increase - and, depending on what you're trading in, even a performance decrease, if you upgrade from a PowerBook G3 to an iBook." My last laptop was a 500 MHz Pismo (PowerBook G3/Firewire). This has compelling arguments in favor of the TiBook...(7:05 AM)

MacOPINION : Charles Moore | iBook vs. TiBook - Which Is The Better Value? "In summary, the iBook just seems to make more sense and offer substantially better value for the money than the PowerBook for most users." Hmmmm... that's three now in favor of the iBook...(6:55 AM)

This Is Your Brain on Electricity. Interesting article about the latest treatments for parkinsons, epilepsy, and depression by using something not unlike a pacemaker in the brain.(6:26 AM)

Tuesday, August 28, 2001
Amazing sunset tonight. It was all overcast and then one little break in the clouds right where the sun was. Unfortunately, no amount of tinkering with my camcorder made it look anywhere near as good as it did in reality. But here's a photoshop modified picture which gets as close as I could get it...

And here is one, unmodified, taken when I turned down the exposure setting of the camera to almost zero (you can actually see the sun which is why I like it)

(10:05 PM)

TidBITS: iBook or TiBook? This article also leans towards the iBook. Hmmm...(9:27 PM)

MacSlash | Review: The Apple iBook. Well, I'm in the market for either a TiBook (PowerBook G4) or an iBook. It will be my main work machine, will go with me everywhere, will need to run OS X (my choice for OS), MS Office, Classic apps, OS X apps, some iMovie, a lot of iTunes, and not much games (I prefer to play real-world games these days, I only ever really play Solitaire 'Til Dawn on the computer anymore). Any advice fellow MacHeads?(9:20 PM)

Hang Ten: AppleScript And OS X - What The Present & Future Holds For Automating Activity On Your Mac. Good overview.(9:12 PM)

Apple goes retail, thinking different. An article about the new store opening nearby this Saturday. Ironically, I actually need to buy something from Apple so the store is opening just in time for me...(9:04 PM)

Our friend James has travelled a lot this summer. Here are his wonderful photographs of Ghana and Cuba.(8:33 PM) SETI hits turn into misses(6:57 PM)

NASA Tries To Silence Airplanes(6:52 PM)

Shock Waves From Space. Beautiful picture too!(6:51 PM)

Monday, August 27, 2001
Well, that's quite enough weblogging for tonight. I'm off to read the book at the top of my stack: The Professor and the Madman.(10:58 PM)

Star-Crossed Ideas of How Pyramids Came to Point North. Interesting...(10:55 PM)

How Bad Luck Tipped the Scales to Disaster "In March 1912, two months after reaching the South Pole, Capt. Robert F. Scott froze to death in a tent just 11 miles from a depot of food and heating oil." My mother read a book about this recently which she recommends highly. I need to find it, read it, and then re-read this article.(10:54 PM)

I am obsessed with moleskin notebooks. I've long wanted and needed something simple, small, but elegant to carry with me as a portable memory device. I've tried the Newton MessagePad and while that was a lot of fun and highly useful, handwriting recognition never did it for me. I had to write too slowly and the keyboard was too cumbersome to set up and use. My Palm Vx is nothing more than a portable address book and calendar. Any content that is on it got there via synchronization with my desktop machine. I've thought about voice recorders (and may still get one for when I can't write, like when I am driving) but ultimately, a good solid notebook is what I need. I like that these have elastics to keep them closed, pockets, and more. And famous artists used them. That's gotta count for something!(10:47 PM)

Andy's Writings is a new page I just added to this site. It gathers together all that I have written in the past on my old weblog (and elsewhere). And since the last item was last May, I need to get off my duff and write more.(10:36 PM)

08/27/2001: "Andre Torrez Was Eaten By A Bear" I don't know Andre. I've never met him. I found his weblog once when another weblog I was surfing made a reference to his. I read it. I laughed. Now I read his weblog all the time. He has no idea who I am. I probably have no idea who you are. Isn't the Internet a magical place?(10:12 PM)

My friend Donna's weblog. Donna's a hottie living in (ok, near) Vancouver. Ah, Vancouver. Going there on a regular basis is the number one thing I miss about my old job. Here's a photo-journal of one of my trips up there including pictures of me and Donna.(10:10 PM)

ZDNet: eWEEK: Cell phones and cars don't mix "What's the upshot? Common sense. Doing two things at once is distracting. If you want to drive, drive. If your phone calls are so important you can't pull over for them, become a doctor. Otherwise, you're not that important, and neither are your calls." For the record, I pull over.(9:58 PM)

Technology Review - The Myth of "Internet Time" "The Internet is a potent communication tool, offering unprecedented speed and reach. It does change everything, just as the telegraph, the telephone and electricity eventually did. It is just that people do not operate on Internet time?and therefore the truly large implications of this new technology are likely to take many decades to unfold." Excellent points.(9:48 PM) | Inspiring and Empowering Creativity. A fascinating article on MPEG-4 which goes into a lot of interesting detail. A must read for anyone interested in digital video at any level.(9:40 PM)

Tonight I asked Jack where "Dinosaur Roar" was (his favorite book). He walked over to the bookshelf and picked it out of all of the other books and brought it over to me to read. Wow. A bit later I just said out loud "Goodnight Moon" and he looked down, saw a book on the floor that was lying open to a blank/title page, closed it to see the cover, saw that it was indeed "Goodnight Moon" smiled, jumped up and brought it to me. So, his comprehension is really getting there. If only he'd talk!(8:34 PM)

Congress predicts $9 billion taken from Social Security. So much for the lock box.(6:21 PM)

Scientists Track Down Human Longevity Genes(6:20 PM)

Giant asteroid found far out in solar system(6:19 PM)

Saturns New Moons.(6:18 PM)

Sunday, August 26, 2001
And now some pictures of the garden by Ann:

Blue Salvia (rose bush in background)

Blue Salvia

Jack and a Sunflower



Tobacco Plant(8:02 PM)

When we lived in Lebanon and Orford, New Hampshire, we used to go out driving all the time. We'd just pick a road we'd always driven past and go down it to see where it went. Some days we discovered shortcuts we never knew existed. Other days we discovered alternate routes from my apartment to Ann's which became favorite back-roads drives. And sometimes we got hopelessly lost and ended up finding a cute little place to get some food or some local treat and then find our way home again.

We wanted to do this again so we strapped Jack into the car and headed out. Our first stop was Arena Farmstand in Concord, MA along Route 2. (Here's an article about eastern MA attractions including Arena Farms). From there we then went on to Arena's neighboring ice cream stand (oh, that was very very yummy!). Then we made a left onto a road that took us towards Rt 117, which we took into Lincoln. We then hung a left onto Lincoln street and drove throught the heart of Lincoln. It was spectacular. why don't we ever have a camera with us when we need one? (Note: all of this was done while the sun was setting so everything had a lovely orange glow to it). Finally, we hit Trapelo road which took us back home.

You can tell autumn is approaching. The air feels and smells different, the light has changed, and all of the bright flowers have been replaced by the more muted shades of mums. And our stonecrop is blooming. Fall is here and I'm glad that my new job doesn't have me moving to DC until the end of October which means I get to enjoy one last foliage season, one last pumpkin shopping trip at Arena Farms, one more apple picking... (and I'm sure they have all of these things in DC, but it won't be the same). New England is our home and we will miss it while we are gone. So, I'm glad we're getting out and enjoying it while we're still here.(7:39 PM)

Ok, finally working again. Still no clue what was going on.(4:36 PM)

Some weird problems today. Not sure if they are's or my own but it seems that any attempt to publish my site is failing. Very disconcerting.(3:49 PM)

New garden pictures! I'd just watered the garden and thought the water drops looked very cool, so I took these.

(11:19 AM)

I'm glad I didn't go to the Northshore Mall Apple Store opening. Apple's site had it wrong. It's next weekend. Phew.(11:18 AM)

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