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Actively Reading
Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials | Wendy Kaminer
Back Burner Rotation
The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods | Christopher Phillips
Socrates Cafe : A Fresh Taste of Philosophy | Christopher Phillips
Read (since 9.16.99)
The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need | Juliet Schor
God's Debris | Scott Adams
Class: A Guide Through the American Status System | Paul Fussell
Zen and the Art of Motorycle Maintenance | Robert Pirsig
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles | Darwin Holmstrom
The Perfect Vehicle | Melissa Holbrook Pierson
Jaco | Bill Milkowski
The Good, the Bad & the Difference | Randy Cohen
Introducing Ethics | David Robinson, et al
The Career Programmer | Christopher Duncan
A Beautiful Mind | Sylvia Nasar
Me Talk Pretty One Day | David Sedaris
Euclid's Window | Leonard Mlodinow
Ava's Man | Rick Bragg
Affluenza | John DeGraaf, et al
sed & awk | Dougherty, Robbins
The Unix-hater's Handbook | Simson Garfinkel, et al
XML/RPC | Simon St. Laurent, et al
Core J2EE Patterns | John Krupi, et al
eXtreme Programming Explored | Wake
Software Craftsmanship | McBreen
XML-RPC | St. Laurent, et al
Mastering Regular Expressions | Friedl
Programming Ruby | Thomas, Hunt
Slack | DeMarco
Advanced JavaServer Pages | David Geary
Effective Java | Jeremy Bloch
Learning the vi Editor | Lamb, Robbins
The Secret House | David Bodanis
Unix Tricks and Tips | Kirk Waingrow
Learning the Korn Shell | Bill Rosenblatt
Geeks | John Katz
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Douglas Adams
The Cathedral and the Bazaar | Eric S. Raymond
Stranger in a Strange Land | Robert Heinlein
Several Books on Solaris and Unix Admin
It's Not About the Bike | Lance Armstrong
The Humane Interface | Jef Raskin
The Pragmatic Programmer | Andrew Hunt
The Water-method Man | John Irving
The Nudist on the Late Shift | Po Bronson
Does the Center Hold?: An Introduction to Western Philosophy | Donald Palmer
Principles of Transaction Processing | Philip Bernstein
In the Beginning Was the Command Line | Neal Stephenson
The Tomb | HP Lovecraft
The Lurking Fear | HP Lovecraft
Secrets, Lies, and Democracy | Chomsky/Barsamian
Hannibal | Thomas Harris
eXtreme Programming eXplained | Kent Beck
Philosophy for Dummies | Tom Morris
Sophie's World | Jostein Gaarder
Clear Thinking | Hy Ruchlis
Chomsky for Beginners | David Cogswell
Philosophy, the Basics | Nigel Warburton
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! | Richard Feynman
The Lord of the Rings | J.R.R. Tolkien
Is This It | The Strokes
Sea Change | Beck
White Blood Cells | The White Stripes


Sunday, February 09, 2003

Update: This particular weblog is now "offline" (I no longer use Please see my new one.

Over the next week or so, I intend to take this particular incarnation of my weblog down. Don't panic (as if) - I'll be maintaining a new one based on gemcast, the weblogging software I wrote. The weblog you're reading now will be mummified and will always be available.

muttered around 6:34 PM

OK, I've built the first, feature-incomplete version of my Ruby-based weblogging system. I'm calling it gemcast, for now.

I started last Thursday night and had it looking pretty good yesterday (Saturday). It's composed of about 350 lines of Ruby code, not including comments or empty lines. Actually, if I cut out 'def' and 'end' statements (which I use a lot of because I tend to factor stuff out a lot), it's only 200 lines of real code. It's probably added up to about 16 hours work. I should say that I've only written one Ruby script before, and that was a quick little XML hack that I did at work, and was only about 5 lines of Ruby code.

muttered around 6:30 PM

Friday, February 07, 2003

I've been busying myself with writing a from-scratch (but inspired by others) Ruby-based weblogging engine. It's going pretty well so far, but as usual I find myself getting in arguments with an ignorant designer (myself) about the model for the thing. I have a good general idea of where it's going, but sometimes it's hard to commit to a given approach because I'm not sure it's right. The nice thing about Ruby is that it's so simple and quick to write, you can hardly get yourself into trouble by going down the wrong fork for a while.

muttered around 9:47 AM

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

OK, so I'm almost 100% committed to switching to another weblogging solution and hosting it out of my house. Under consideration are greymatter, blosxom, and blogtari.

Greymatter is interesting because it is pretty feature-packed and has a nice GUI for entering posts. On the downside is that it needs a separate "install" directory for each weblog (and I have three), and it might be a bit complicated to manage over time.

The other two don't have a GUI, and rely only on the basic filesystem to do their thing. Of these two, blosxom is attractive because it is so minimalist (<150 lines of Perl at last count, which is impressive), and it supports features that I find interesting. On the downside, it's written in Perl, which is just not my cup of tea (but I never tried all that hard). On the other hand, blogtari (which has an ancestry based in blosxom) is interesting, but incomplete (for my desires). However, it's written in Ruby, which is my cup of tea, so it's eminently hackable by yours truly. I've been trading mails with the author about its future. He's done a great job so far, but I think I'll hold off on committing to it until I've seen his next release.

Oh, and I guess I shouldn't forget blojsom, which is blosxom written in Java, and having more features. I guess I wouldn't mind hosting a java-based weblogger running on Tomcat and jacking around with configuration of a servlet engine. Wait a minute -- actually, yes, I would mind it!

muttered around 9:40 PM

Monday, February 03, 2003

I just downloaded iPhoto 2 for my Mac. Didn't do much more than start it up and browse around a bit. Incredible speed difference!

muttered around 10:14 PM

Friday, January 31, 2003

Amazing stupidity (not the site, the sites cited on the site).

muttered around 8:33 AM

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Whew! I've finally finished Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I started it once before, many years ago in college, but just couldn't slog through it that time. I hate to use the word "slog" on this classic book, but when you're in the middle of it, that's kind of what it feels like. It's the kind of book that you look at once you're finished, and say to yourself, now what exactly was in all those pages? I mean, there were some memorable bits, but enough to fill up that book?

I must say that I liked the ending, which is tied up pretty nicely. There are definitely a number of ideas in the book that made it worth reading. One of my favorites is:

"Or if he takes whatever dull job he's stuck with...and they are all, sooner or later, dull...and, just to keep himself amused, starts to look for options of Quality, and secretly pursues these options, just for their own sake, thus making an art out of what he is doing, he's likely to discover that he becomes a much more interesting person and much less of an object to the people around him because his Quality decisions change him too. And not only the job and him, but others too because the Quality tends to fan out like waves. The Quality job he didn't think anyone was going to see is seen, and the person who sees it feels a little better because of it, and is likely to pass that feeling on to others, and in that way the Quality tends to keep on going."

I'd like to think that the above excerpt describes in some way how I approach my work. Hopefully that doesn't seem too grandiose.

muttered around 10:18 PM

Thursday, January 09, 2003

I received my new camera on Tuesday. I'm very pleased with it. I can't believe I only paid about $50-75 more for it than I did for my old 1.3MP Olympus. The Olympus was great in its day, but this camera is really an order of magnitude more feature-rich. Very nice!

muttered around 10:55 PM

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