Saturday, March 29, 2003

Old favorites
The Rosetta Project is creating an online collection of antique, freely downloadable children's books:
The Rosetta Project's collections currently contain about 2,000 antique children's books which were published in the 19th and early 20th century. We shall be putting these combined collections on line as funding permits. Our current goal of putting 2,000 volumes on line will create an online library of aproximately 65,000 html pages. However, as we are still collecting books from around the world, we expect the Rosetta Project online library to eventually reach millions of html pages.

Link via

Just spent about five hours on the phone with my Dad trying to fix my Mom's office computer so that it could see her secretary's computer on the network. She is a pastor, and I gave her an old computer and set up the networking while I was at home over Christmas. They were ecstatic about the fact that they could now share files without using a floppy disk. But about a month ago it stopped working for no apparent reason.

After having my dad replace the network card and mess with just about every Windows 98 network setting, the two machines still don't see each other. The network is working, and if you set them to the same IP address one of the complains. But for some reason pinging doesn't work and they don't show up in the network neighborhood. If PC bigots wonder why Mac users were so haughty about their OS for so many years, they have obviously never compared the networking on MacOS 8 versus Windows 95. On a mac, if you have a working ethernet jack, Appletalk pretty much always works. On an older PC, it's anyone's guess. (Admittedly this has all gotten a lot better in Windows 2000 and presumably XP, but that doesn't help folks stuck with old machines.)

So this is all very frustrating. Unfortunately I'm probably not going to be up there for at least another few months, and unless they can find a guru to work on it I don't think they're going to be able to figure it out on their own.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

In between ducking and covering, Saddam Hussein seems to have found the time to start

:: Thursday, March 20, 2003 ::

I have been up all night looking for my mustard gas, but for the life of me, I can't remember where I put it. I know I had ten tons of it a couple of weeks ago. That's when it was hidden in Mosul. Then I ordered it moved to Baqubah, and when the UN inspectors started snooping around there, it was supposed to be moved to Kirkuk. But according to IraqEx, it was shipped to Tikrit by mistake. From there it supposedly went to Bayji, but no one in Bayji remembers signing for it. I've been calling IraqiExpress, but no one's answering the phone. I think the cowardly bastards have all fled to Jordan. Sometimes it's lonely at the top.

:: Saddam "No Nukes Here" Hussein 3:49 AM [+] ::

Link via Missives Anonymous

Travel Planning Stuff Travel Mania

Got off the phone with my friend a little while ago after another marathon travel planning session.

We're trying to mix it up a bit. We can't afford four-star elegance for the whole trip, but we also don't want to slum it the whole time. So we're spending a bit of time in fancy digs and a bit of time in cheapy hostels. We purchased a "Rail and Drive" pass from Eurail that gives us four days of train travel two days of car rental for one low rate.

It's very subject to change, but here's the rough itenerary as it exists at the moment:

  • WED 9th - NK leaves Nashville in morning, sits in Phildelphia airport all afternoon, and leaves for Rome at night.
  • THU 10th - NK arrives in Rome in morning, catches midday high speed train, arrives San Remo at 8:30 PMish. Somehow makes way to Monaco to stay with friend's aunt. Collapses from two days of cumulative fatigue and jet lag.
  • FRI 11th - Hang out in Monaco.
  • SAT 12th - leave monaco 10 AM, pick up car in San Remo. Drive to somewhere like Padua, spend night in TBA location. Maybe make a brief stop in Milan on way if time looks good.
  • SUN 13th - drive into Venice. get rid of car. Sleep in Venice at place TBA.
  • MON 14th - tour Venice including Murano Glass works. 11:30 PM - catch overnight train to Naples.
  • TUE 15th - Arrive Naples, stash luggage somewhere, tour city. At end of day, catch train to Sorrento. Check in to Grand Hotel Aminta
  • WED 16th - Catch ferry from Sorrento to Island of Capri. Tour Capri. Back to Sorrento hotel in evening.
  • THUR 17th - Leave Sorrento, take train to Pompeii. Tour archeological site. Take train back to Naples. Catch 7:30 PM train to Florence, arrive at 11:05 ish. Check into cheap lodging place, TBA.
  • FRI 18th - Tour Florence. (need to check on art gallery reservations and stuff.)
  • SAT 19th - Rent car -- drive to Pisa, take obligatory pictures of imminent tower collapse, and tour cathedral. Drive from there to Siena, tour town. Return to Florence at night.
  • SUN 20th - Attend Easter festivities (including exploding cart) in Florence, then catch afternoon train to Rome. Check in to Hostel des Artistes.
  • MON 21st - Tour Rome (Easter holiday, so need to figure out what's open.)
  • TUE 22nd - Tour Vatican. Friend on Train 10ish overnight to Monaco.
  • WED 23rd - NK on flight from Rome. Friend on flight from Nice.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Big brother is... uhh... trying to sell you something

Maybe everyone else figured this out long ago, but I just noticed that Blogspot targets its ads based on the content of the blog. How cool (and slightly spooky!) is that?

I noticed this because I was checking out Abbie the Cat and noticed that the page had ads for "I Love Cats" magazine and "Persian Cat on eBay."

Eager to test my theory, I went over to My Side of Things, where Laura recently wrote a post about a bird getting stuck in her air conditioner. Sho 'nuff, the BlogSpot ads inquired boldy whether I had a problem with bird droppings or pest starlings!

So then I tried a random blog from the blogger front page. At Where does it go?, some college student included a bit about how she got hotel reservations in Portland through Priceline. And the ads were for -- you guessed it -- "Homestead Portland Hotel" and "Residence Inn."

I'm a bit insulted by the fact that my current ad is "Visual Editing for Blogs." What, do they think I need some help? :-)

I assume this uses the same basic technology as Google AdWords, but I don't know if it's related to Pyra's recent entry to the Google empire.

It seems like there's got to be some way to turn this little revelation to my advantage, but I have no idea what it is!

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Frantically working on my midterm exam, which is supposed to be in by midnight tonight. If they had a procrastination olympics, I'd be a gold medalist.
Sunday Comics A quiet rebellion

The Sunday comics come with an annoying half page ad affixed to the front. It gets in the way and makes the section difficult to read. I always make a point of tearing the ad off without reading what it says. I figure if if I do this long enough, maybe they'll stop putting it there. So far this initiative has been largely unsuccessful.