October 2002 Archives

Top Ten "Must Avoid" costumes:

( from a japantoday.com reader )

10. Bomb-strapped Chechen Rebel Chick
9. Gay Atheist Boy Scout
8. Superman in a Wheelchair
7. Saddam Hussein
6. Invisible Clothes Man
5. George Bush
4. Pantsless Priest
3. Japan Tobacco Industry Lobbyist
2. Osama bin Laden
1. Blackface Sniper


At work today I was shown a web-based interface to a video-camera surveillance system (via some seemingly proprietary browser plug-in, mind you, but that's hardly the point).

We accessed a live camera in a grocery store in the West-Island. We could control the zoom as well as the panning (direction), all in real time. Here's the shocking part: it was SO smooth and SO clear, we could see the prices printed on the shelves, watch customers key in their PIN numbers and make them out ( ! ), from the front of the store we watched a client at the meat counter picking out a steak, and the price on the little flag. We could also directly access a specific cash's scanner and watch what was being scanned (and what may not have been...).

I'm not one to pontificate on such things, at least not via a keyboard. I'll leave it to you all to think what you will.

Blog Spam...

Oh-oh here we go

So Wired does an article about Blog Spamming. The article links to the above URL... a bit of poking around reveals that one of the culprits is located in Montreal.

François Lane, who blogs himself of course (he is even listed on Bill's YULBlog list, unlike me), bascially did this: set up a small simple database of blog URIs, wrote a quick script (anyone with basic programming skills could have done this) and ran it. It was a test he maintains. Bloody effective I'd say considering the hoolabaloo he's raised.

Reading some people's rants about this I feel a need to share what I was able to find out, corrolated with my knowldge of "where Mastodonte is coming from". Most of the ranters seem think that this kid (cause, well, my estimate is he's in his mid to late 20's) who just 2 weeks ago was whining about how nobody took his new 100% quebec-produced francophone blogging solution seriously, is some huge evil spam marketing machine that must be attacked with all resources available. Relax militant "internautes"... He's no threat. His idea may be, but it's too late to do anything about that.

It's interesting on many levels this thing: He studied a bit of electrical engineering, a bit of electronic music at McGill.. Then did partial certificates in marketing and management. A resteless soul, cause now he's scripting PHP blog systems for the company he's the president of (located in "bustling" Verdun, a dreary suburb of Montreal, no less). Makes sense that someone like him would apply a marketing concept to a cultural phenomenon by using accesible technology.

In some ways it's similar to my Doonesbury Blogger post of a few days ago, but I digress.

Also, if we look at the francophone marketing industry in Montreal... Well one gets the sense that much more is permissible.. try ANYTHING to get a message out.

So anyways, all that to say that I am totally 100% not surprised this came to be in Montreal.

Freedom of press

Reporters sans frontiËres - International

This is good. Interesting stats. I'd LOVE ot see the actual reports that generated these "grades" though...

Doonesbury Blogger

Hehe. This seems to be getting alot attention. Which makes sense considering the nature of blogging and news syndication.

A media content provider (Doonesbury/Garry Trudeau) makes a social commentary (today's strip) about a popular and rapidly growing medium (blogging). The purveyors of said medium (bloggers) are tickled and meme it to death.

Sort of like when a performer asks the audience to applaud itself... ;)

What da?

Somebody care to explain this to me:

#2 !?!?!


A dream is a dream is a dream...

and some dreams just can't come true, no matter how badly we want them to.

Billy Joel

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine,
He gets me my drinks for free.
He's quick with a joke
or he'll light up your smoke,
but there's someplace where he'd rather be.

Halloween Flashers

THIS is utterly ridiculous. But SO funny.

And so Quebec.

I wonder what these folks do for X-mas decorations...


I tried to do this layout in CSS... I am a failure... Could not get the damn divs to align center. I hacked and hacked and hacked away at antipixel's code, but it just wouldn't do it for me. So tables and spacers it is. Ouan. ;)

So yeah, out with the red (wasn't really ME anyways) and in with this.

That picture up there? That's me and my dad fishing. :)

tailored shirts!?

Can somebody please let me in on this little bit of fashion necessity? It seems I keep buying shirts that are meant for... bellied... men. These things billow like sails in the wind when untucked. And yet, I see the well dressed gentlemen in the street walking around looking like the mannequins in the shop windows. (Which blows my mind... for example at The Gap - shaddap, Iknow you ALL have at least one piece of GapCrap - ... The mannequins all look strapping and fetching in whatever tops they are fitted with.. so you try the bloody thing on and you look like an american (nothing personal). So you go back to the mannequin and notice they've folded and pinned the back of the shirt/whatever! Argh!)

So, please, somebody tell me what I need to look for/ask for when buying shirts! Are they called "fitted shirts"? Can I get some of my already bought shirts fitted? I'm really curious because I've finally managed to whip myself back into shape and, well, I wanna flaunt a bit... I mean.. a guy wants to look good you know? ;)


Teach myself to validate

I always make sure to learn things the hard way.

I webmaster (v.) my friend's website. It needs not only a redesign but I'm redoing the entire architecture. What is now one site will be broken up into 4 domains, plus two extras for document repository and administration interface (databases et al). They will all be linked by a global navigation scheme, yada yada yada.

Anyways, I decided just now: "what the heck... see if you can make the whole thing validate (XHTML/CSS)". I doubt I'll be able to do the entire thing, but definitly much/most of it.

Stay tuned!

Life is tough sometimes...

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Father's surprise: call-girl daughter

Holy mackerel. Poor guy... poor girl... poor wife... all around crazyness.

Labels X

Labels X

Nice. A much missed fetaure from Mac OS of old... Finder labels... you know, color-coded files and folders?

It's All About The Mobile Internet

TheFeature :: It's All About The Mobile Internet

great site. well... interesting to me anyways.. what with my web/wireless situation.

talking heads...

I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous can't relax
I can't sleep, my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire...


Eric the LEGO man.

Eric Harshbarger's LEGO pages

Not only must this be the single coolest "job" ever, but I am ever so so so tempted to try my luck... Is the world big enough though? ;)

Eric, you rock. Plain and simple.


I.. um... break my spaghetti in half before cooking it. Linguine, spaghetini, fettucini... If it's long, it's getting cracked.

I've had guests go into convulsions over this. So now I ask if/when cooking pasta for a visitor.

Is it so wrong? Really?



This is waaay cool:

The goal here is to do for email (starting with your personal mailbox)
what Google did for the web... The Google principle: It doesn't matter
where information is because I can get to it with a keystroke.
So what is ZoÎ? Think about it as a sort of librarian, tirelessly,
continuously, processing, slicing, indexing, organizing, your messages.
The end result is this intertwingled web of information. Messages put in
context. Your very own knowledge base accessible at your fingertip. No
more "attending to" your messages. The messages organization is done
automatically for you so as to not have the need to "manage" your email.
Because once information is available at a keystroke, it doesn't matter
in which folder you happened to file it two years ago. There is no
folder. The information is always there. Accessible when you need it. In

I can't hardly wait to try this out tonight!

Did I mention I am a "geeque"?

Yeah. Web. Since '96. So I guess I'll be adding "categories" to this blog... and start ranting and raving about "web standards" and Mozilla... and IA and UE and UI ad nauseum...

I might as well. Have tons to say... ;)

Stay tuned!

p.s.: today is better. :)


Wow, i am thoroughly depressed. I haven't been this down in ages.

I hate this damn job; I feel trapped, without any challenge and no advancement.

I have to sell this car. It's sucking me dry. If you ever need to buy a car, I suggest you THOROUGHLY investigate ALL the financial apsects of such an undertaking. Sigh.

Sorry, nothing uplifting or even mildly funny today. I'm listening to Adagio after Adagio here. (Albinoni at the moment, Bach is next up.)

Vienna sure would be nice right about now. Paris.. Mmmmm. Tokyo? Anytime. Anytime. All the time.

Deepest ,darkest secrets...

I farking LOVE The Gypsy Kings.

There. The secret is out.

Social Skillz

First of all I must say I am, by nature, a loner. However I do have social skills and am quite sociable. I have many friends of all different walks of life who have gone so far as to tell me they thoroughly enjoy conversing with me. (Gratuitous plug... shameless, really...)

This, though, is only after contact has already been established. THAT is the sticky part.

I have been told by people who ended up knowing me that upon first seeing me I seemed to them "utterly unapproachable" and even "intimidating". The opposite is of course true. These conceptions immediatly vaporise as soon as they say "hello". I am perfectly happy to talk to anyone whosoever approaches me (and to be totally honest here I must add "and who looks to be interesting to me in one form or another", but that is a whole other story...)

Anyways, on to the point of this posting.

I cannot remember where I gleaned this, but I've always believed there are two fundamental and important social skills one must master:
Initiating conversation & Terminating conversation.

It seems I have totally mastered the latter but can barely and rarely pull off the former successfully. Most people have the inverse problem. They can't seem to get themselves out of talking with someone even though they have nothing to say. Curious problem but it isn't mine, so I'll move on.

Terminating conversation; whether it means cutting short interaction with someone I do not wish to speak to or, amazingly enough, having almost every conversation logically summed up with "it's all meaningless anyways because we're all gonna die!" (sic)(sick)(sicko)

There is also what I consider to be one of the banes of my existence: the fact that it seems that sometimes I will say something that seems to stop everybody in their tracks and instantly kill the party/mood/conversation. Sometimes it is a statement that is so perfectly put that it sums up the entire conversation and resolves all issues in one fell swoop and so there is nothing left to say (rare but damn cool), or it is just taken as the rambling of a madman and, oh shit, let's get away from this guy...

This "affliction" seems to have followed me online.

Message boards fall silent after I post. Blog comments are ignored. Nobody seems to want to engage me.

Sigh. Somebody PLEASE say something! ;)

Masters of War

Bob Dylan: Masters of War

These words are true in any and all times.

(I especially enjoy the Pearl Jam version of this song ;)