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©2001 Andy J. W. Affleck
Saturday, October 13, 2001
Ok, I'm going to bed now. Night night.(11:28 PM)

Andrew Pulrang on Baseball ... and they're singing "God Bless America" now at the Seventh Inning Stretch, instead of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame". If you ask me, (well obviously you didn't), a goofy, good-time song like "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" is a much better answer to fundamentalist terrorism than some somber, patriotic hymn. Quasi-religious nationalism is something Bin Laden can probably relate to. Enjoyment just for the hell of it is a far greater challenge. Hear! Hear! I so agree.

At least it's a good song. I never liked the "Proud to be an American" song and am not enjoying its recent resurgence in popularity. I know a good rah-rah tune helps with the crisis but there are plenty of better songs for that. Hell, the Star Spangled Banner is about as close as you can get. The "Proud" song doesn't represent who we are. Instead, it embodies the very arrogance that makes so much of the world pissed at us. And I'm not being an apologist like others who say we brought terrorism upon ourselves. That's a horrible thing to say. Nobody deserved what happened on 9/11 and no foreign policy justifies that kind of response. We're often heavy handed (or club-footed, take your pick) but terrorism is never justified, ever. So, that's not where I'm going. I'm just saying that the song bothers me. It's not represntative of our pluralism, of our compassion, of our melting-pot nature. It reeks of "We rock, you suck" and that is just not how I think of America.(11:15 PM)

Stumped by Rubik's Cube? Let the Lego Robot Solve It Well, shit, what I have I been doing with my free time? Building duplo towers that Jack then knocks down and watching Winnie the Pooh videos over and over and over and over and over again.

While I'm on the subject, does anyone else think that Disney is pulling some kind of weird crap on us to say there is a FOUR video set of original Pooh cartoons? Come on. Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Blustery Day, Pooh and Tigger Too are all wonderful, all voiced by the same people and are all a joy to watch, even for the 100th time. But that fourth video in the set, "A Day for Eeyore" is a travesty. It was made in 1983 and has only Paul Winchell as Tigger back from the original cast (most of whom had died by then). The replacement voices are simply awful (The narrator says "Peeoooh" instead of "Pooh" in his affected British accent, Rabbit doesn't speak but sneers through the whole tape, Piglet is pathetic, and Kanga and Roo are just not right). And I don't like the little argument between Eeyore and Tigger doesn't fit at all. And there are no cute songs Pooh makes up. Finally, the intro music has changed and sounds terrible. It's not part of the THREE tape set and should not be advertised as such. I want my money back.

Who's with me?(11:01 PM)

The End of Snail Mail? I don't agree with what he is saying. I think paper/postal mail has a long and necessary life ahead of it despite email.(10:54 PM)

scriptbuilders @ Lots and lots of AppleScripts.(10:46 PM) A blog about scripting on the Mac.(10:41 PM)

Outside New York, Charities Feel the Pinch While the relief funds created for victims of the terror attacks have been deluged with money, small charities throughout the nation are suffering. Fund-raising events and direct mail campaigns are bringing in less than expected, and some major givers are reneging on their pledges, sending contributions instead to relief funds for New York's victims.(10:30 PM)

css/edge This site has a fascinating look at Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and the author, Eric Meyer, does some interesting things with it. I'd love to adopt these techniques for this site to jazz it up (uh oh, did I say that? Am I already talking about another redesign?) but the fact that IE/Windows doesn't work with strict CSS1 is a major problem. Lately, I've run into a lot of problems with IE for Windows that has (a) made me happy with IE/Mac all the more and (2) pissed me off. A number of designs that are dirt simple in HTML are coming out all wrong because IE/Win is simply stupid. I'd give examples but that would take effort and it's Saturday. Come on, what did you expect?

Well, enough ranting about IE/Windows. It is a shame that I can't do some funky tricks here because it's too widely used but I'll live.(4:10 PM)

London Times: Every night for the past month, as Taleban soldiers and police fled the city in fear of airstrikes, the residents of Kandahar came out to enjoy long-forbidden freedoms without fear of punishment by the religious police.(3:44 PM)

Researchers Bring Voice Recognition to Palmtops I want one...(12:43 PM)

Thursday, October 11, 2001
Learning to Be Wired Throwing technology at educational problems may do more harm than good. It takes careful planning -- and a healthy dose of skepticism -- to make computers work in the classroom(5:22 PM)

Wednesday, October 10, 2001
Funny! I blogged the home page of Phi Tau Coeducational Fraternity and THEN realized that I'd taken the picture used on the home page. Neat!(11:24 PM)

The Dawn - Opinion; 09 October, 2001 Very interesting reading.(11:22 PM)

'If you hate the west, emigrate to a Muslim country' An interesting article about Hamza Yusuf, a Muslim convert and advisor on Islamic issues to the President.(11:15 PM)

My friend (and, now, co-worker) Chris Kagy has an interesting response to what Andrew Pulrang wrote about bin Laden's videotaped message the other day (blogged below, I'm too lazy to look up the link right now :). Among other comments is this gem: "A wonderful high culture of arts and sciences existed in the Middle East. I've heard it argued that it was not the Irish that saved civilization but the Arabs, by proactively acquiring as much knowledge and literature as possible and not just transcribing it, but studying it and furthering it. This corpus of learning was rediscovered (relearned?) by Europe starting after the Reconquest of Spain. Was the decline of the influence of the Middle Eastern cultures analogous to the European Dark Ages?" I think this is an excellent point. I've read Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization and thought it fascinating but I can also see that it is a rather euro-centric viewpoint. (Incidently, Cahill is doing a series of books on what he calls the "Hinges of History." He's covered Judaism's origins and the life of Jesus. I certainly hope he covers Islam as well.)

Between Andrew and Chris (all three of us were in the same co-ed fraternity in college) I feel like the uneducated poser. I always feel I have so much to learn. I'll start by reading their stuff and the other weblogs I follow and try to keep up...(10:59 PM)

Osama Has a New Friend Now, in a move that defies all rules of logic, a doctored photo showing Bert with the world's most-wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, seems to have made its way into an anti-American Islamic protest in Bangladesh.(10:33 PM)

At U.S. Request, Networks Agree to Edit Future bin Laden Tapes The CBS anchor, Dan Rather said: "By nature and experience, I'm always wary when the government seeks in any way to have a hand in editorial decisions. But this is an extraordinary time. In the context of this time, the conversation as I understand it seems reasonable on both sides." Very interesting. Good move or slippery slope?(10:23 PM)

Tuesday, October 09, 2001
Jedi makes the census list It's official: "Jedi Knight" is ON the list of religions for the 2001 UK census.(7:43 PM)

In the end, went down not long after my attempts below. It's back up this morning and we'll see if I can post these updates to my blog.(7:20 AM)

Monday, October 08, 2001
Well, at least I'm not the only one with this problem [Link may require a blogger login, I'm not sure]. So, it's likely a system problem. Hmmm. That does raise the question about reliability. I switched from a manila hosted site to this because I wanted my site to be local rather than remote and I felt that the Manila hosted sites were awfully slow and cumbersome. Also they provided features (discussion groups, et al) that I wasn't really using. But this is somewhat annoying. My site comes up but nothing new appears on it. Kinda defeats the purpose of a blog? This is the second time this has happened in the two months I've been using this. The last time it was resolved within the same day. Let's hope this is resolved as quickly.(11:29 PM)

Still nothing. And it's starting to get my goat. And I didn't even know I had a goat. I have a goatee, but that's because I had a beard-trimming accident the other day. Everyone tells me they like it so I may keep it. But that's not important right now. What is is that I can't seem to update my blog and that brings me back to me and my goat, or lack thereof (because it was taken -- you are following this, right?).

Um, anyone have a goat I can borrow?(11:16 PM)

More weirdness. I just tried to republish the page and the ftp log on blogger hasn't changed even though blogger claims the file was uploaded just fine. Methinks something is wrong on the blogger side of the fence. I'll wander their site for any kind of technical information, online help, FAQ, etc.(11:12 PM)

Another weird problem with According to the interface, my blog has been updated with my big ramble for the evening. According to the ftp log, it has been successfully uploaded. According to, it has not. The file there is the older one and no sign of new data exists. So, what's going on here?(11:09 PM)

And so it begins... we started packing tonight. Actually, we didn't pack anything but we did sit down and map out exactly what we have to do between now and when the movers come. It's intense. It's going to be a very crazy few weeks. In addition to packing and moving, I also have to go to a company retreat in North Carolina and a birthday party for my mother in New York. All inside the next two and a half weeks. Are we insane or what?

It's been a fun few days, all things considered. We went to a wedding of some college friends over the weekend which was a lot of fun (though the DJ played that "Proud to be an American" song that's being driven into our skulls with alarming regularity -- whether or not you like that song (I don't) I honestly can't figure out why anyone thought it was an appropriate final song for a wedding) and then we went to Rhode Island to hang with Ann's folks and Jack.

Oh, and we started bombing things.

I remember when the Gulf War started. I was watching Babette's Feast at Dartmouth College and someone walked up on stage and announced that ground troops had just crossed the border. We stayed until the end of the movie (why, I do not know) but afterward went back to my office in the computer center and listend to NPR for the next few hours. I was against the war and I was very bothered by the yellow ribbons that sprang up everywhere.

That was then. This time, I sat and listened to the news on the radio and felt really good about what I was hearing. I support what we are doing and I feel very good about the American flags I see everywhere. Normally, I'm a pacifist and support diplomatic solutions over military ones but I recognize that our enemy this time is not one we can reason with or who shows any form of rationality. Andrew Pulrang points out some places where bin Laden has a legitimate beef with the US (scroll down his page to find it, he doesn't have archiving activated for individual entries so that link is the closest I can get -- Andrew, email me, you need to turn on that feature :) and I see where he is coming from. But I also agree with his final analysis.

Well, that's my update for today. No real links because, aside from Andrew's site, I didn't find anything I felt like linking to. Sorry. Come back tomorrow. Of course, I'm going to be so bloody busy the next few weeks it will be a miracle if I blog much.

Great. Our new neighbors are being loud and it's late and Jack is getting restless. I have to get dressed and go next to door to bitch them out. How happy am I?(10:42 PM)

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