The Website and Weblog of Andy J. Williams Affleck

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©2001 Andy J. W. Affleck
Friday, October 19, 2001
Quick picture of yesterday's amazing sunrise...

(Picture by Clarissa Bertha)(9:20 AM)

Thursday, October 18, 2001
Quick update from North Carolina.

There are military planes going by overhead. One is (we believe) a KC130 tanker. It went back and forth most of yesterday (I don't think it's been over today yet) and late in the day we watched it refuel a helicopter of some kind. I took some great video of it but forgot my firewire cable so I won't get the pictures off the camera and up here until after this weekend.

It's a bit chilly here but the house we're staying in is right on the beach and the sound of the ocean is heavenly.

This morning, not long after sunrise, I went for a nice long walk down the beach and enjoyed being alone just listening to the sounds of the waves and the wind and watching foam blow around.

This is a very busy work week but it's also very relaxing at the same time.

One final comment before I go, Pierce's BBQ near Williamsburg, VA is excellent. Yummy.(12:51 PM)

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Today I drove from Boston to Providence, flew from Providence to Baltimore, drove from Baltimore to Annandale, VA. I'm tired.

As part of the fun, I was randomly selected to be searched at the Providence airport. So they unpacked my suitcase and went through everything. Then repacked it.

At the gate, my carryon bag was searched and I was "wand" searched (where they wave a wand at you and it beeps when it finds metal.) I was also frisked. Good thing she was cute. :)

My van from Baltimore to Arlington, VA had to go to Fort Meyer to drop one passenger off. The MPs at the gate made us all get out so they could search the van. Thankfully, they didn't search me personally. I was tired of it at that point.

On the flight down, I had a morbid desire to see Manhattan. But we flew well to the north of it and it was on the other side of the plane from me.

Driving around Arlington, I had a morbid desire to see the Pentagon. But we drove around the wrong side of the building. Today was not my day to see destruction. Just as well.

Tomorrow we head south to Pine Island, North Carolina for the company retreat. I hope to blog daily and to get pictures taken with the company digital camera. If I don't blog for a few days, you can assume I didn't make it back online.

I bought a copy of Don Quixote and the Man of La Mancha CD today. It's a theme, I guess. Nah, I'm just tilting at windmills.

Sleep would be good...(11:55 PM)

Monday, October 15, 2001
Falwell-Robertson-Bin Laden Quiz This is truly frightening(10:39 PM)

Blog Archives back to 1994!! I have now gotten all of my past blogging back to 1994 (seven years ago... wow). I'm only missing the blogging from 1998 through 2000 which I may have lost permanently through some stupidity on my part. I'll have to check my poor attempts at backups to see for sure.

What's interesting to me is how my blogging has evolved. I started out just posting very periodic blurbs on single pages, sometimes with pictures but usually without, and then moved totwards the more automated, many blurbs a day approach. I also started adding links to make it true weblogging rather than an online journal of sorts. Now it's both. Sometimes it's links and sometimes it's journal.

Over the years I used straight HTML (hand coded in BBEdit), Userland's Frontier's News Suite which built a site out of its internal database and ftp'd it up to my server,, Manila (another Userland tool geared towards blogging), and now I'm back to again.

I'm still watching Userland to see how things progress but their free hosting is unacceptibly slow and purchasing their software to roll my own at home (and ftp to is prohibitively expensive. When Radio Userland 7.1 is released (I hear there will be an OS X version) I may reconsider.

I know I could host my manila site on but I'm already paying for a domain name and its hosting so I don't really want to pay for yet another service just to have my site hosted at a different domain name. I'd rather host it on my own site. And I am not willing to pay for the tools to do this. This is just for fun, it's not something I'd pay to do. Maybe that will change over time but at this moment, it needs to be easy, quick, and free. So, that's blogger.

Of course, blogger isn't without its problems. I've had trouble reaching the servers and I've had archives vanish (and later come back) and I've been unable to publish entries for the better part of a day, etc. Which is why I am keeping a keen eye on Radio Userland which, last I checked, was free and powerful. I just need an OS X version since I am also not interesting in running a tool in Classic mode.

Well, I'm sure that's far more than you wanted to know about my blogging history or my attitude towards blogging tools. We now return you to your regularly scheduled life, already in progress.(7:18 AM)

Sunday, October 14, 2001
MyAppleMenu News Feed Useful...(5:22 PM)

Personal Web Logs Put a Face on a Faraway Disaster(5:18 PM)

The New York Review of Books: College: The End of the Golden Age Fascinating. I need to read this through a second time.(4:49 PM)

The Whitman Project Main Index Another from the archives that I'm glad is still around.(4:40 PM)

This is a conversation I just had on Yahoo IM (I generally sit online in Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, AIM, ICQ, and Jabber. I generally only give out my IDs to friends and family to cut down on the random spam one tends to get on these services.) The names have been changed to hide the screen names.

jess (03:23 PM): afternoon
andy (03:24 PM): Who are you?
jess (03:24 PM): jessica
andy (03:25 PM): A Jessica I know or a Jessica I don't know?
jess (03:25 PM): the latter i guess
andy (03:25 PM): Ok. Just checking.
jess (03:26 PM): nice photo essays
andy (03:26 PM): Thanks... I'm actually updating my weblog right now. Found some old stuff that I'm incorporating.
jess (03:27 PM): that's all i wanted to say...sorry to bother
andy (03:27 PM): No problem. I appreciate the kind words. Have a good day

So, my question is this: have we become so ruined by spam and by online perverts that we are automatically rude to people? Jessica wrote to say hello and to compliment me on some of the stuff I have written online. In the real world that's akin to someone saying hello to you on the street and I'm a huge fan of that. I like walking down the street and saying hello to people, making small talk about the weather or whatnot. But notice that I was immediately guarded and standoffish. Granted, her intro was just "afternoon" and I had no idea if this was someone I knew (it could have been my friend Jesse) but my immediate "Who are you?" was pretty rude, all things considered. At least it made her want to apologize for bothering me at the end.

Whenever I get a call in the evening and the voice asks if this is Andy Williams (or Affleck) I immediately assume it is a telemarketer and answer with a suspicious sounding "Y-e-e-e-s-s-s...?" which immediately puts them off. Granted, I'm usually right and often give the standard "I'm not interested, please take me off your list" and then hang up. But still, it's much the same thing.

Anyway, is there a lesson to be learned here? Should I be moderating my own behavior to those few random IM's I get from strangers or has the vast amount of junk mail, porn advertisements, and weird online lurkers pretty much ruined the online space for simple smalltalk among strangers? Anyone have any thoughts on this? (3:38 PM)

The Near-Myth of Our Failing Schools by Peter Schrag Another oldie but goodie I need to reread. If a weblog is when you record where you have been and what you have read to share it, what is it when I link something here that I want to read later on? Preblog?(2:41 PM)

The Computer Delusion by Todd Oppenheimer Another old link. I need to re-read this. I remember being very against this at the time but it's been some years and it would be interesting to compare the state of things today against Oppenheimer's claims.(2:36 PM)

The WWW VL: Educational Technology - Educational VR (MUD) sub-page: One of the many links in my new blog archives (new archives? I mean old archives that are newly online again :) which still work. And worth another look. I did a lot of research on the MOO/MUD in education back in grad school.(2:24 PM)

Webcrumbs Archives to 1997! I finally added in a large chunk of the past: April 1997 through April 1998 are now up. What's still missing is April 1998 through August 2000 and stuff from around 1994/5 through April 1997. There's a ton of link rot in this archives, but they are interesting nonetheless. A lot of interesting stuff from when I was in grad school. I'll have to go through and see what still exists and where things moved.(8:05 AM)

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