Home improvement has never been so entertaining

Craig pointed to the Trading Spaces Drinking Game. I love the listing of items–I hope the show’s creators are looking at this too. Some of the joy of watching the show is getting to know the personalities, but I know that if I hear Vern talk about “leaving a penny on the table” one more time I’m gonna scream.

I do love that they pointed out the bit about tarps not being used while painting a room. How do they get away with that??? I always end up leaving our tarps looking like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Apple Store coming to Seattle area??

Rumor has it that Apple will be opening a store in Bellevue, a few miles south of me–and a few miles west of Microsoft. That should be interesting–if it comes through.

As the source article says, there’s a sense that Apple will be doing the area a huge favor by opening a fairly high profile store in the middle of a real economic slump in the area. I hope they’ll take advantage of the presence of some pretty big Mac people in the area, such as Glenn, Brent, and even Adam Engst, to make some compelling Mac content available in the store’s theatre area.

The sun! The sun!

When I was little, the first thing I ever heard about Seattle was a Bill Cosby routine (on I Started Out as a Child) that claimed that Seattleites liked the rainy weather–that we would stay out and get rain tans, that sort of thing, and that when the sun came out we would ask, “What have we done?”

This morning I’m awfully glad to see it. The cherry tree leaves might dry out enough today to be blowable and gatherable by the time I get home. Nothing like bagging leaves in the dark (the sun is pretty much setting by 4:30 pm these days).

Brent: multiple weblog support harder than it looks

Brent points out that there’s a non-trivial cost to supporting multiple kinds of weblogs in a blog front end tool like NetNewsWire or Manila Envelope. Weblogs may look alike on the surface (and to an RSS aggregator), but they’re all different software platforms underneath and accordingly have different information needs. This is fine as long you don’t have to expose the mess to the user.

This is one of the reasons, I think, why the MetaWeblog API came about. Abstracting the common elements of the data elements into a new API layer is smart. Unfortunately not all the platforms support it…

I wish it had been a long weekend

…that would be a good reason to not have posted for three days. As it is, I can point to our mostly-finished front bedroom, which is finally losing its green and maroon color scheme, as justification for not having written.

I started a new job at the same company yesterday. I spent the day in training, so it’s hard to tell how it went. But I will have a meeting this morning to talk about my goals, and then things will get running. I feel in some ways like this fresh start is like coming home to a skill set that I thought I’d never get to use again. In other ways, of course, I feel like I’ve given up on the other job, and that’s something I’m going to have to continue to work through.

Found: history

Family history, to be exact. The unpacking has progressed to the point that I’ve found the box that had the pictures from my office and—more importantly—of my family. Pictures of the University, of the barn up the hill from my Grandmother Jarrett’s house, of the ancestral Brackbill farmhouse, of my Pop-pop and Grandma, my parents and my Aunt Marie. Plus some other odds and ends: a framed Glee Club poster that I designed, a signed Edward Gorey print, a framed photo of the Rotunda taken from the vicinity of my Lawn room door, an antique mirror. Plus some Legos, for some reason.

All this stuff has been in storage, not just since we moved from Boston, but from our move from Cambridge in the early spring of 2001. I’ve particularly missed having familiar images to hang in my office; not any more.

Master of Vaguely Arty Noise Rock

A while back I wrote about the Open Music Directory project, MusicMoz. I figured it was time for an update.

The good news is that I’ve become editor of a few categories, including Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore, the Pixies, Gastr Del Sol, and the Velvet Underground. (Thus securing myself the title of “Master of Vaguely Arty Noise Rock.” At least in my own mind.) The bad news, or the opportunity as we positivists like to call it, is that the project still needs volunteers. There are some choice categories open, including Pavement, Liz Phair, the Police, Porno for Pyros, the Psychedelic Furs, Parliament, Public Enemy. And that’s just in the Ps.

Think of becoming an editor at MusicMoz as the equivalent of being a library volunteer. You’re spending your time working with things you love, making it possible for other people to learn about the music that fascinates you, and contributing to the overall usefulness of the Internet. How many opportunities like that are there? Well, I mean, other than blogging in general…

Link and Think 2002

As last year, this year I’ll be participating in Link and Think, an “observance of World AIDS Day [December 1] in the personal web publishing communities.” The idea is simple. Rather than blogging about technology, music, or what have you, for a day each participating blogger will blog about AIDS. Last year it was a great opportunity for me to educate myself about what the MIT community was doing with respect to the epidemic. This year I’ll stay with the community focus but look at what the state of Washington will be doing.

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I hope some of my readers will choose to participate; I hope others will just read my page and those of other participants and inform themselves.

Quick update

It looks like things are moving along with the new site pretty well. A few people have updated their blogrolls, Google has started to crawl it, and I think all the navigational kinks have been worked out.

This is good. I may have something worthwhile to talk about soon.

I wasn’t going to post…

…until I got the new site set up. But I’ll be in training today and won’t have a chance to finish the setup, so a quick update.

I’m touched by the support I’ve gotten since posting Monday about the Black Dog. I wanted to assure all of you that this is nothing sudden or intensely scary. I’m reaching the realization that there are some things that it’s better to discuss and write down than not. And I’m discovering some things about myself that I never acknowledged before. I’m going to come out of this stronger and better and that’s the important thing.

And in the meantime it’s not raining here (yet) today, and I’m going to take that as the good sign that it is and get on with this day.

Hanging in there

Regarding what I wrote last night: I think I need to stop blogging before bed. Not that I regret what I wrote, but it honestly sounds bleaker than I meant it to. It’s honestly raining today, and somehow that makes me feel better (though it also made me get up later).

I think some small portion of this is just loneliness. Knowing that others are dealing with similar issues does make it easier to sort through it.

I should run to work now. I’ve been promised comp leave, but I have a class tomorrow so I need to do my best to clear my plate today. Then maybe Thursday or Friday I can just lay about.

Oh, my new site is almost up and running. There are a few things left to sort out, but when all is done I’ll post here with the new address. I’m so excited. The new site looks like it will actually stay running in the middle of the day….

Back on the late night schedule

I haven’t been writing much lately. It’s a combination of a few things. When my site finally moves to a new home, I don’t want to have to recreate a lot of work.

I’ve had some things to write about. But some of them, like things at work, I’ve been reluctant to discuss. Others, like my depression, I’ve been struggling to understand well enough to write about. I don’t know that makes me feel better to know that others, including, apparently, Moxie (whose depression is discussed by Dawn), go through the same thing. For a while writing helped, but I’ve realized I’ve been writing around my thoughts and feelings, not getting them down.

Now it’s harder to write much of anything meaningful. I might take a few days off from blogging to work through some of this. Partly it’s work. My group made a big presentation today, but it’s too early to tell whether it went well or not. And through the rest of the week I’ll be wrapping ends up in this job and moving to a sister team in my organization. Some things should improve after I make the switch. Others will still be there. And I have to figure out how to work through them.

If you read my blog for things about the Mac, or scripting, or even food, you may want to watch those categories rather than the whole blog for a while why I figure things out. If you’re getting this stuff through the RSS feed, and you want to unsubscribe, I understand, but I hope you’ll stick around. If all goes well, things will get better here soon.

Bachelor chow

No, not the Futurama kind, though I’m sure it will strike many as close enough.

Lisa is back east for training this week. Unlike past weeks where I got super ambitious with food, I thought I’d make it simple tonight. Bratwurst and leftover mashed potatoes.

Except after browning the brats I decided to make gravy. With beer. Bert Grant’s Fresh Hop Ale, to be exact. I let the brats cook down in the beer, then added mustard for flavor and flour for thickness. As Neko Case sings, “It looks a lot like engine oil and tastes a lot like being small.” Except it’s like nothing I ever had when I was growing up. I think I had to wait till my first trip to London to taste it.

Yes, I’ve now mastered pub cuisine…