Blog: The absolute latest random thoughts
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4.28.2005RADIO.BLOG.CLUB -- this "Radio.blog" program looks like an interesting concept, but in my experience I spend a lot of time trying to convert things from a stream to something useful and download-able; how much effort should I be going through so that people can stream my MP3s rather than download them -- especially since most browsers will start playing the MP3 as it downloads, so wait-time isn't going to be very long. Anyone agree? Disagree?
My personal favorite photo from the latest scans of Dad's archive. (Having some trouble getting the second magazine's photos uploaded, but the third one -- which I accidentally did first -- worked fine, so this gem is available for all to enjoy...)
I'm pretty sure that this isn't an original painting -- that it was a common print (or at least a common theme). In fact, I think I saw it (or something just like it) in the attic of an antique store between River Falls and Ellsworth. Look familiar? Can anyone identify it? It's a modernized cityscape, from sometime before 1965.
4.27.2005Gopher Ordnance Works - I'll probably never get around to putting up a page about the GOW, so this will have to do for now. It's an awesome place, and now that County Rd. 46 runs right through it (and, hence, it's much more populated) I assume that it'll be trashed and then bulldozed soon.
Yet, they actually swun the road around the famous "T-walls" rather than plowing right through them, so maybe there's hope?
Yahoo! Search Results for where to meet pretty woman turned up something really disappointing for some poor person (guy, I assume?) in Hartland, Michigan. Sorry, dude! My old, old blog postings really don't have what you're looking for. But, once again, Yahoo! comes through while Google lags so far behind it doesn't even know that any of my sites exist.
4.26.2005More Photobucket albums! -- here's a link to the main album page, where you can now choose between Christmas 1965 and pictures of my uncle Larry's house when it was just a pile of 2x4s (and, before that, a pile of dirt! Wow!).
I've noticed that the photos are ordered, not by name, but (apparently) by when they're updated -- last one in appears at the top of the page. That's unfortunate but, hey, choosy beggars choose Jif. Wait... that's not right... oh, yeah. "Beggars can't be choosers". That's better.
emlarson - photobucket.com: I have a new "quick and dirty" scanning process for capturing the hundres of 35mm slides that my dad shot in the 1960's. I'll describe the process in the next podcast. But here's the first test -- an entire series of 36 pictures from one of the "slide cartridges," which is labeled "Christmas 1965".
The site I'm using ("Photobucket" -- catchy name, no?) lets me make hot-clickable thumbnails to photos. Here's one -- let's see if it works:
Some Thoughts on the Treatment of Digital Minorities -- this'll go in the next podcast (probably... maybe...) because it addresses one of the core issues in my "cheap computing" thoughts. A lot of times, what's cheap/functional is also proprietary. (And it might not just be a Microsoft thing -- maybe you force everyone to use Macs or Linux, too.)
Not a big deal if you're working in a closed environment, but as you move toward collaborative development, it's a problem!
I'm reading the "RHAPSODY END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT" and came across the following: "You grant, or warrant that the owner of such User-Supplied Materials has expressly granted Listen, the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, fully sub-licensable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, display, modify, transmit, distribute, perform, display and delete such User-Supplied Materials (in whole or in part) worldwide and or/ to incorporate such User-Supplied Materials in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed. User-Supplied materials are public and not private communications."
I'm curious just what a "user-supplied material" actually is. Whatever it is, Real -- or is it "Listen"? -- really wants it!
4.25.2005Streamingmedia.com: Searchable Video: Accurate Searches, Precise Targeting -- I never said the idea was new, but this article from nearly five years ago shows how not-new it is.
Podscope Blog -- Podscope FAQ Wow! Great minds think alike! If you check back in my podcast from a couple weeks ago, I was talking about this very concept... and here it is!
It's been around for awhile, actually, but it's been extremely expensive. I wonder if this site will make the encoding technology more accessible to the masses.
4.24.2005Freespeech: FSTV Library Item - Fire in the Eyes -- We've come a long way since the days of Kent State, and at least we're not shooting protesters anymore. Instead, we've resorted to torture. Works like a champ! (Well, actually it doesn't, and they have to use the same means of removing non-violent protesters as the have for years, but that's beside the point, right?)
I hope my more conservative friends (and, remember, I'm pretty conservative!) realize that a society that does this kind of thing to non-violent environmental protesters is willing to do it to any non-violent protesters. Will the next abortion protest or "rally for traditional marriage" feature police armed with chemical-soaked Q-Tips prying young girls' eyeballs open? No? Why not?
I dare you to watch this video! Bet you won't!
Major Editorials Agree: Q-Tip Pepper Spray Is Torture: "Perhaps there is a rational explanation why deputies had no other way to disperse the demonstrators except by applying liquid pepper spray with a cotton swab directly to their eyes, or holding them in headlocks while spraying them in the face at close range."
I'm surprised I didn't see this case in the news eight years ago... but the trial is going on right now, so it's back in the news.
At the time of the Iraqi prison scandal, there was some discussion about what "tourtue" truly is -- after all, being handuffed and stuck in the back of a police cruiser isn't comfortable, yet nobody calls it "torture", so when does "discomfort" rise to that level?
I'd say a Q-Tip of pepper spray in the eyeball would qualify.
4.23.2005New infrared photos! -- not many, okay, but a few new ones (like the one linked here) in the Eagan chapter of my PhotoSite files.
Basically, it's sunny and things were green, so I figured I'd give that "prodigal filter" some exercise.
In fact, let's see if we can link it here...
4.21.20052 Winona High students put free speech to the test -- didn't we just see a study where high school students were okay with having their right curtailed? And a big hue and cry because they didn't care about their rights? In that sense, this story is encouraging... but it'll be very interesting to see how it pans out!
Berean Baptist April 17th Sermon | I figured I'd keep up the tradition, in standard Windows Media Audio format, as always.
4.20.2005Technology-Enabled Teaching/eLearning Dialogue: "The computer can be used for much more than it's being used for now. We all know that. And, so can the projector. It's not just for PowerPoint presentations and browsing the Internet. In fact, it's imperative that we integrate AV-based and interactive technologies into every element of the schools or we'll have a generation of kids that can't pay attention and are bored --although it will probably be blamed on ADD (attention deficit disorder)."
Amen! Need I say more?
4.19.2005Wired News: Surprises Lurk in Satellite Snaps / Guess I'm not the only one interested in satellite images. And I was talking to my friend Tom (creator of the digedia.com logo) and he finally explained to me why Google Maps is so impressive -- it's extremely high-speed, fluid image scrolling. it's a subtle thing, but very nice.
4.18.2005SweetLaurieAnn: "I love Laurie Ann with all my heart and soul. I created this blog as a way of speaking to her everyday with the hope that one day, she will find her way back to me. Loving her and taking care of her are my life's purpose. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you Pnut. "
I've discovered that hitting the "Next Blog" button brings up some... interesting sites.
Now, all I can think of is a certain 1967 song... (click the song title links on the bottom half of the page to play a clip. Any one will do...)
4.17.2005Shogun of Harlem - If you look at the tippy-top of this very page, in the upper-right corner, you'll see a "next blog" link. And you never know what you bump into. This guy is writing about... get this! ... the 1939 New York World's Fair! (Among other things). So I figured I'd link to it, because he makes a good point -- whatever did happen to "Peace through Understanding"?
4.16.2005Lasgo Artist Main on Yahoo! Music... Could it be that I have a new favorite group?!? I just might! Man, I love this stuff! (I've got "Tell Me" from their "Far Away" album blasting through my headphones at the moment -- as I try to finish up the paperwork on my HRD internship -- and I really wish Launch had a "super-mega-love-it!" rating!)
We'll call this one "Curious Daughter" (taken at a birthday party for one of her cousins).
My coworkers (and former coworkers -- Hi, Joann!) will appreciate that the toy sheep I kept in my office has gone to good use.
4.14.2005U.N. Video Game Encourages Kids to Feed, Not Kill | This site is being slashdotted right now, so I can't get the game downloaded, but it sounds like an excellent concept! I'm eager to see what it's actually like -- is it really something that will gain interets or attention, or is it going to come across as really lame. (Or is it going to be like the U.S. Army recruiting game which, in addition to beinging pretty far from the "feed, not kill" prespective, didn't let you play much of anything without signing up to join their servers.)
4.13.2005The New York Times > New York Region > No Need to Stew: A Few Tips to Cope With Life's Annoyances | Rob pointed me to BugMeNot.com, which points to an NYT article where it's mentioned. My reaction is balanced somewhere between "Gee, that's a little extreme" and "Keep up the fight!". Hmmm. For instance... "After checking with a postal clerk about the legality of stepping up his efforts, he began cutting up magazines, heavy bond paper, and small strips of sheet metal and stuffing them into the business reply envelopes that came with the junk packages. "
Current Provision | Here's an interesting "conversation" over at LifeTrek Coaching, which is a regular "newsletter" that gets dumped onto my PalmPilot; the topic of "selfishness" is one that... I'll "have" to "read" more of at "some" point: "(Thomas J.) Leonard was quick to dismiss this as old-world, old-school, and old-paradigm thinking. For him, loving yourself -- selfishly, lavishly, and with reckless abandon -- was the foundation for everything else. But that is not, it seems to me, the way to spiritual wellness. It's by loving others that good things happen, both for them and for us. It's by removing ourselves from the denominator of the equation that it can finally be solved. It's by doing the right thing that we get things right."
St. Paul banker killed in crash was drunk -- no big surprise, considering the circumstances (Who drives 60 MPH in a 25 MPH zone in their own neighborhood? Can't say you didn't know the road or the speed limit...) but it's still sad.
Best quote from the story, responding to the driver's .187 blood-alcohol level: "'That's a considerable amount of alcohol in her system,' said Lynne Goughler, public policy liaison for the Minnesota chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving."
Berean Baptist April 10th Sermon -- I have to admit that Ruth and I didn't get a chance to hear this one (had to get Candela home to rest up for a family birthday party, so we only went to first hour) but I'm sure it's good... and, since it's here now, I can pull it down to my MP3 player automatically!
4.12.2005St. Paul Pioneer Press | 04/12/2005 | Devil's Chair now a stool Here's a much better link to the story, with before-and-after photos as well.
St. Croix River landmark falls: Once the AP got ahold of this story, it seems they managed to introduce some bad grammar. What's wrong with this sentence? "It's instantly recognizable shape was part of the city of Taylors Falls official logo."
4.11.2005St. Paul Pioneer Press | 04/11/2005 | St. Croix River landmark tumbles -- Sad! I mean, there are more tragic things in the world than the loss of a rock formation that looked like a chair, but it's too bad that it's gone -- especially if some creep wrecked it. I wonder what it would take, though, to topple something that big?
4.09.2005Yahoo seeks to expand in Google territory | CNET News.com | Considering Yahoo actually indexes my blog and Google doesn't bother, I'd think folks would want to jump on the Yahoo ad gravy train when it passes by. It's not about the searches -- it's about the fact that (at least at the moment) my Google ad test is providing meaningless advertising, because Google doesn't know what I'm talking about in this blog. How does that help my readers learn about sites related to their (or my) interests?
I'll give you a hint -- it doesn't.
Hey, Yahoo: bring on the ads!
morons.org - Man Arrested for Using $2 Bills | So, is this a good example of getting "Lexmarked"? "After buying a stereo, finding that it would not work, having a new stereo model installed, and being told that he did not have to pay an installation fee, Bolesta was contacted by the store, and was threated with police action if he did not pay the fee he was told before did not exist."
4.06.2005Yahoo! Search Results for real daughter photos
So here's something I don't quite get regarding search results. In my log for my web site, I have the following search:
Ash Sharqiyah, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, 0 returning visits
Date Time WebPage
30th March 2005 05:33:27 AM [URL to photos of my daughter on my web site]
search.yahoo.com/search?p=real daughter photos&ei=UTF-8&fr=FP-tab-web-t&fl=0&x=wrt
So that means that someone in Saudi Arabia ran a search for "real daughter photos". Why? (Do I want to know the answer?) And why would this person click on my site? Does Yahoo ping a site when search results are returned, even if the searcher doesn't click on the results? I doubt it, but my daughter's page doesn't come up anywhere in the first few pages of returns (that I could see). Add my daughter's name and it comes up as the first result, but without it, it's certainly not obviously, let alone click-worthy. Yet, it appears, someone hit it.
So it's a mystery... and just plain weird, if you ask me.
I can understand search results related to my Human Resource Development classes. And I've already talked about those desperate Kari Byron fans out there who hit this blog... but this one is strange! And, as I say, I just don't get how Yahoo's search results work...
But, hey, at least Yahoo returns results for my site! Can't say the same for Google... yet. But maybe that'll change?
Berean Baptist April 3rd Testimonies -- no sermon this past Sunday, but just four people who talked about how they came to be known as "Christian". The first guy will sound suspiciously familiar. It's an interesting experience to have around 1400 eyeballs (only 700 pairs, though) staring at you... but I found the congregation to be really supportive. It was a good form of staring, you know?
- Bloggermann - MSNBC.com: "The time of death is a detail of the story. To the Schiavos and the Schindlers it is extraneous -- just like all the other parts of the 'story' you and I... tell and hear. To them, the story is very simple. Terri Schiavo died."
An interesting point, but this journalist misses one other fact: The Schindlers and/or Terri's priest (Frank Pavone) weren't allowed to be in the room at the time of Terri's death. According to a report from the priest, he was asked to leave when staff from the hospice came in for a regular check on Terri's state, and it was then that Terri died. So, whether the detail is important to Terri's family or not, they'll never have the opportunity to know it because Michael Schiavo (nor anyone else in the room, apparently) didn't notice the time.
Details on Terri's last hours can be heard from the April 1st broadcast of Focus on the Family. I'm no James Dobson fan, but that's where Frank Pavone tells his story, so that's where you have to go to hear it. Link to Focus on the Family archives.
4.05.2005Yahoo! Search Results for emlarson byron - Here's a very interesting experiment. Remember how I said that "Kari Byron" was a popular search result on this blog? Well, it is... if you use the Yahoo search engine. If you search for that in Google, you get nothing. Fine. What if you search for "emlarson weblog" in Google? You get a bunch of obsolete stats from GoStats, and a single line with a blank description for emlarson.blogspot.com. So, for some reason, Google isn't paying attention to this blog... which is also fine (their perogative, right?) but it explains why the ads have nothing to do with any of my content; they don't know what the content is!
I'm glad I'm doing all this as experiements in technology, rather than as a business that I was trying to live off of! It's one thing to say, "Gee, that's strange"... and quite another to have to say, "Gee, that keeps me from putting bread on the table"!
4.04.2005St. Paul Pioneer Press | 04/04/2005 | Plans to replace bridge languish - unfortunately, I never had the chance to walk or bike across the old bridge; it was closed by the time I last made it down there, and the time before that was the middle of the night when I was house-hunting in the Bloomington area (in 1996/7) and I figured it wasn't a good idea to go strolling across an old river bridge alone when nobody even knew where I was. Still probably for the best, but it's too bad I missed my chance -- it's a really neat bridge!
4.01.2005Oristus :: Resources :: Money Honey: The List of Revenue Generation Ideas - Not that I'm blogging for money, by any means, but this is a really good overview of some cost-recovery ideas. It might be more appropriate for seeker.TV, when that eventually goes live.
Voidstar - Some thoughts on Advertising on Blogs: "I'm tired of my blog getting nothing but adverts for blog systems. Just because the reader is looking at a blog doesn't mean they want one too."
I'm glad I'm not the only person experiencing this problem; I keep hoping there's a way to tweak the metadata on the blog itself to make the ads more appropriate. Hmmm.
Here's an interesting topic for future ponderings: "Internet artifacts". Maybe I'll talk about it in a podcast. If you dig around for "emlarson weblog" on a Google search, you're not going to find this blog... but, instead, you'll find GoStats references to it. I haven't used GoStats in ages because their stats aren't that great (StatCounter is much better!), yet there they are. And there's even a test PostNuke site that comes up at MobyNuke; it was down for ages, but it came back, but now my login doesn't work. (Support over there doesn't exist, which is fine because it's free, but it's another case of getting what you pay for; read through their forums if you don't believe me.) So not only is there tons of information out on the internet about folks... but lots of it is just plain wrong!
Tara Kemp @ NJS4E... one of life's great mysteries: Whatever happened to Tara Kemp? Maybe one of my friends with much better web searching skills than mine can track down an answer for me! (I really don't think she's the same person as the graphic designer at TaraKemp.com, but I could be wrong...)
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