Bill of Rights found; Ashcroft surrenders

In unrelated news, a historic copy of the Bill of Rights, which was one of 14 commissioned by George Washington when he was president and which was subsequently stolen from the North Carolina State House by a Union soldier during the Civil War, has been recovered, according to CNN. No word on whether Ashcroft has been notified, or whether he’s aware that we have a Bill of Rights.

The war has begun

CNN: Twenty-four cruise missiles were fired and 2000-lb. “bunker buster” bombs were dropped at “selected targets of military importance.” Speculation is that the target was a meeting of Saddam and his military advisors.

Hmm. Apparently itís operation Iraqi Freedom. As operation names go, itís no “Desert Storm.”

Three years and five days ago today: a beginning

I just realized I missed an anniversary. My very first page on a website called Jarrett House North was published March 14, 2000. The page was a direct port of the front page of my first personal web site, which I had built in Frontier (back when it was free) on my Power Mac 7200/90 and which I was serving (illegally) over our DSL connection from that Mac using Mac OS 8’s Personal Web Sharing. (The page is still visible at the Internet Archive. Note the damning lack of an actual domain name; I had essentially hijacked the IP address, since Bell Atlantic’s DSL solution wasn’t compatible with Mac OS 8.)

When Dave announced that he was providing free Manila hosting at for those who wanted to try Manila, I registered my site under the same name I was using for my homebrew site, Jarrett House North. I transferred some of the old content into the Manila site using cut and paste, and then forgot about the site (with a few exceptions) until the summer after my first year of business school.

So when someone asks what my blogaversary is, I tell them my blog was born June 11, 2001, but that it was conceived March 14, 2000 and had a really long gestation period. 🙂

Special bonus: the site map for my old web site is still at the Internet Archive. Compare to the current site map, which only points to my static pages, not to most of my blog content (and hence hasn’t been linked into my main navigation yet). Most of the structure was already set in place in 1999.

A year ago today: OPML scripting

A year ago today I was working on understanding OPML and writing scripting solutions around it. I never did get OmniOutliner2OPML working correctly, and Omni released a new version of OmniOutliner that supported OPML directly.

As an AppleScript, though, OmniOutliner2OPML was interesting enough to form the basis of an article over at Studio Log by Jesse Shanks called “OmniOutliner as a Script Analysis and Management Tool” so it wasn’t totally wasted effort.

The script, like any programming that handles outlines, binary trees, and other branching data sets, contains recursive logic that has to process each level of the tree repeatedly. I used to obsess over this sort of stuff for hours in my old day job, writing selective disclosure tree controls for browsing document relationships in workflow applications and trying to make them as lightweight as possible. Because the reality is that tree structures are both easy and gnarly to program—easy, because they are highly repetitive in their structure (does this node have children? if so, ask each of them if they have children, and so forth), and hard because it’s hard to predict how deep the tree will go and how many levels you’ll have to process, and how long it will take.

Distant echoes of war in the NW

Heard on our NPR station’s local news update this morning: with the USS Carl Vinson carrier group deployed, many businesses in Bremerton, WA are shortening their hours and laying off employees. Another news story estimated there are as many as 19,000 military dependents in the Northwest.