The Website and Weblog of Andy J. Williams Affleck

 Webcrumbs Click to skip navigation links
Main Page
Radio Edition
Who am I?
My Writing
My Resume
Why "Webcrumbs?"
Previous Posts

Mac Links

Daily Media
New York Times
RI Weather
DC Weather
Kevin and Kell
Red Meat
Astronomy Pix

Scripting News
Doc Searls
2020 Hindsight
Andrew Pulrang
Chris Kagy
O'Reilly Weblogs
NowThis Log

Search Now:
In Association with

Made on a Macintosh

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

©2001 Andy J. W. Affleck
Friday, May 10, 2002
The War on Terror Flounders: "Is there any explanation other than inertia to account for the United States' maintaining 47,000 troops in Japan, despite the lack of any threat there except perhaps from extraterrestrials, yet refusing to provide a few thousand troops to keep the swamp drained in Afghanistan?"(2:00 PM)

Smoking Fat Boy: "what bothers me is the position taken by so many business and political commentators: that the California catastrophe says nothing about the risks of deregulation and the dangers of loving free markets too much. It was California's own fault, they say, for creating a "flawed" system "(1:56 PM)

Thursday, May 09, 2002
Just Some Thoughts... about Baku and Tiblisi. Chris is there now. This means he didn't watch ER. He doesn't anyway.

I'm sure he's having a much better time culturally than we are.

I hope I get to travel for work soon. So far I've only made to the department of Labor a few times. Not exactly the high life. I may get to go to New York City soon but since I grew up there, it's fun, but not exotic.(11:12 PM)

I'll say this much for ER, for a show that I profess to not care any longer about, I sure am writing a lot about it this season. OK, so this is the third time or so. But how often have i written about any other show?

Anyway, I didn't watch last week. I decided I didn't want to watch the Dr. Greene death marathon and participate in that bit of NBC schlock.

And I said I wasn't going to watch tonight.

When it started, we were reading the article (below) about the Red Sox/Devil Rays game and laughing our asses off. Yet, every so often, we stopped and paid a little attention to the show. After we finished reading the article, we put the laptop to sleep and just watched.

Wow. I have to admit, it was a moving episode and not anywhere near as maudlin as I was worried it would be. I have to keep reminding myself that NBC has a habit of promoting shows in the worst possible way. I mean, come on, all season long we've been subjected to an Enya soundtrack on Friends commercials. Enya? Give me a break. And tonight's ER was supposed to be one to cherish. I don't know about you, but if I find myself cherishing a tv show, it's time for someone to take a two-by-four to my head at high velocity.

So, all of that cynical badanage aside, we rather enjoyed the episode. Of course Ann went through a box of tissues. But then again, she goes through at least three tissues whenever a cute baby or puppy appears in a commercial. She just hit me. Maybe I'm exaggerating. Maybe I should not blog with my wife sitting next to me.

But at least she's catching all of my typos and spelling errrors. Except that one. Ha.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. ER good.

I'm glad to see they aren't going in for any kind of blatant sensationalism for the season finale next week. No, not at all. Then again, I'm sure it's just how it's being promoted by NBC. At least it's not one to cherish. I can only cherish so many shows.

Ouch. That two-by-four hurts.(11:06 PM) - Page2 - My dance with the Devil (Rays). This is the funniest (and I mean THE FUNNIEST) thing I have read in a long time.

And I'm happy to report that the Sox just swept Oakland. So, they may yet be the real deal. And to all the people who say the Sox fold in the second half of the season, bite me.(10:17 PM)

Kicking Up Cosmic Dust. Wow. The New York Times completely and utterly skewers Star Wars Episode II. I don't remember the last time I read so bad a review. Then again, this is the New York Times and Star Wars ain't no highbrow entertainment. And I am one of those freaks who actually liked Episode I (I also think Empire Strikes Back is the best of the original trilogy. Come to think of it, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is also a good movie, but that's important right now). So, we'll have to see...(9:57 PM)

Scientific American: News In Brief: Fossil Whale Ears Indicate Swift Transition from Land to Sea: May 9, 2002(9:46 PM)

More Guns for Everyone!: " How weird is it that in this post-Sept.-11 atmosphere, when the Justice Department itself is in the forefront of the effort to narrow potential threats to security, the attorney general decides it would be a good idea to throw open the doors to a wholesale increase in gun ownership?"

Ashcroft... there are no words. I cannot wait until he is long gone from office.(2:09 PM)

Wednesday, May 08, 2002
Busy again at work. I've been updating two papers I re-wrote this fall from papers I wrote last summer. It's a long story. But in the last few days, I've written and edited through about 60 pages total. Phew. I joke that I've been working on my thesis.

What is my thesis? Simply put, strict adherence to Section 508 and the WCAG 1.0 leads to inaccessible websites. They may be technically accessible, but they are annoying as all hell in screen readers.

The papers are on accessible online education. And they are going to get published. Somewhere. I hope. We'll see.(11:42 PM)

Schoolhouse Rock on DVD is due out in late August. I know what I'm getting my wife for her birthday now! [Via NowThisLog](11:36 PM)

Andrew Pulrang (link at left) quotes on of my favorite comedians, Richard Jeni: "I can see going to war over justice or freedom, or even revenge. But, if you go to war over religion ... now your basically going to war over who has the best imaginary friend."

I hadn't heard that before and it all but killed me.

Hey, Andrew, if you haven't yet seen Eddie Izzard, do so. Another funny man.(11:33 PM)

Monday, May 06, 2002
OS X applications ranked by category. Neat list... I agree with most choices.

In fact, I'm in the midst of moving all but my work mail from Entourage X over to Apple's Mail client.(11:05 PM)

NY Times: Access to Free Online Music Is Seen as a Boost to Sales. Disputing the position held by the major record companies, a report issued on Friday found that people who use file-sharing networks to obtain music at no charge over the Internet are more likely to have increased their spending on music than are average online music fans. [Tomalak's Realm]

Finally! Ann and I have been saying this all along. In fact, since the demise of Napster, I've hardly bought any CDs.(11:02 PM)

Sunday, May 05, 2002
Tom Waits: A Poet of Outcasts Who's Come Inside "Sunlight wouldn't seem to be Tom Waits's element. His songs tend to take place in rainy nocturnal realms filled with outcasts and freaks, where his slurred gargle of a voice and his junkyard assortment of sounds won't upset passers-by. Yet there Mr. Waits was on a bucolic northern California afternoon a few weeks ago, lunching on minestrone soup in a small-town restaurant near his home, and talking affably about how he has created and maintained his own peculiar zone [~] more like a back room or a bunker full of debris [~] in American music."

I've always loved Tom Waits' music. Ann admits she finds it interesting and tolerates the periods, every few months, where I go on a Tom Waits bender and listen to lots of albums over and over again before I move along to something else. Every woman I've dated long enough to live with me through my Waits Phases has tolerated that phase and just smiled and loved that weird part of me. Well, they did at the start of the relationship. I'm sure that as things were winding down it was another nail in the coffin. Rain Dogs helped me get over a particuarly nasty breakup some years ago. I think the album has moments that are so dark and depressing that I, by comparison, was happier and brighter. Either that or the album allowed me to go all of the way down so I could start my journey back up again. It's hard to say.

These days, my life has its stresses and strains but I am, on the whole, a happy person. So, Waits' music isn't about happy or sad to me now, they are about mood and melody, tone and timbre. They make me look at the world with my head cocked at a 30 degree angle the way a dog does when you make a funny noise at it. Yeah, that's it. Tom Waits' music is that funny noise that makes me do that. And I love it.

Don't tell my wife. But I may have to sneak off and buy a pair of CDs this week.(3:13 PM)

Is the Pope Catholic?: "Like the Communist Party circa Leonid Brezhnev, the Vatican exists first and foremost to preserve its own power."

What an excellent op-ed piece. I find myself in complete agreement with everything he says. I am not Catholic but I married one and I went to a Catholic high school. But my wife and I have talked often about how we want to raise Jack and whether we want to raise him in a given faith (though we've also agreed that we want to develop in him a strong capacity for critical thinking) and we've both shied away from the Catholic church as we disagree with its politics strongly. Personally, I love a good theological debate. I ain't gonna get one there. Not now. Not with the draconian policies they have in place. Remind me to tell you the story about why we had to drop the Catholic priest who was going to marry us a month before our wedding leading us to change the location of the wedding at the 11th hour.

I'd say more, but breakfast needs to come out of the oven. Homemade scones. Yum.(9:20 AM)

Ok, I know it's only the beginning of the season and I realize that we've been playing teams like Baltimore and Tampa Bay (and barely winning the last two against Tampa Bay at that) but it's hard not to get excited about the Red Sox this year. After we finish with Tampa Bay we face the real teams: Seattle and New York. The proof will be in the pudding. But, hey, this is a fun season. So far. Last year we felt this way at this point too. So, let's see how we feel come August...(12:18 AM)

Ok, I'm a bit behind on pictures. So here are way too many at once!

A picture named Rainbow1.jpg First off, we had some impressive thunder storms in the last week. Here's a rainbow earlier in the week...

A picture named Rainbow2.jpg And here is a closeup...

A picture named lawn.jpg New! If you have lawn-pattern-baldness, you can get spray-on-grass for lawns!

A picture named JackCar1.jpg We joke about Jack having a girlfriend. She's the only other two-year-old in the neighborhood. Her name is Nimra and she's been letting Jack play with her car. In this series of pictures notice that she tries to give Jack a kiss. Of course, he was completely oblivious...

A picture named JackCar2.jpg

A picture named JackCar3.jpg

A picture named Balloon1.jpg Finally, Jack had a balloon and then lost it...

A picture named Balloon2.jpg

(12:13 AM)

Previous Dates...