I had the good fortune to meet Mike Lee, an information architect over at e.magination, last night; he invited me by the office to take a tour of the place and I bought him dinner and bent his ear. e.magination is very impressive—they are doing a lot of the things I was pushing for in previous web shops, like exhaustively trolling the client sites to catalog their information, dedicated testing, and focused documentation.

Mike is a very interesting guy, and I enjoyed talking with him about a bunch of different stuff- he’s been experimenting with website mapping through non-two dimensional means, looking at alternate uses for low-technology toys (I have to buy one of these now) and evangelizing IA throughout the company. Over beers we touched on a bunch of different topics, including digital copyrighting, piracy, bypassing traditional publishing outlets, teaching and education, facing the technical learning curve inherent in our profession….

I spent so much time processing, thinking, questioning, and leaping ahead of myself while we were talking, I’m afraid nothing I said made cohesive sense. Mike, if I was hard to follow, my apologies!

Date posted: June 28, 2002 | Filed under friends | Leave a Comment »

Album of the day is Abductions & Reconstructions, by the Thievery Corporation.

I’m reading about WorldCom and wondering what all that means- more book-cooking and backdoor deals with a huge company. I sure hope the SEC is granted some kind of power so they can create and finally enforce some strong bookkeeping laws to put an end to this kind of stuff. NPR did a great piece a few weeks back on the Enron mess and how they were able to get away with a lot of what they did.

On other telecom fronts, apparently Cingular is buying ATT Wireless, my cell carrier, so I don’t know what kind of disruption in service I’m going to suffer through here, but it should make life interesting.

By the way, you know you’re getting older when your car radio is permanently tuned to the local NPR affiliate. I haven’t listened to song-oriented radio in months. But at least I don’t have to sit through the country’s worst local news telecasts for the information of the day.

One of the programmers here wrote an email to the staff:

Exception 14

… buffer overrun error occurred when attempting to
… write soda to device fridge:
… your soda may be warm.

I need to keep an eye on this series of articles on O’Reillynet about Mac OSX and ColdFusion MX.

Date posted: June 26, 2002 | Filed under history, humor | Leave a Comment »

Well, I cleaned up a lot of loose ends yesterday; one of the major things is that I called the guy about the Wyoming Scout and let him know I have the cash ready; I was thinking about taking a week or so after the game is done and driving out to see the truck, but he mentioned that he’s heading out there in two weeks. What I think I’m going to do is send him out there with a handful of disposable cameras to take pictures of all the areas I want.

I also have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to work out the deck in the backyard; instead of just nailing a sill to the back of the house and attaching stairs, I’m going to build a platform off the sill about 3′ deep, and then attach the stairs to that. I think I have the other sections figured out too; there were some questions about how to anchor the supports to the ground, but there are some very simple galvanized steel standoffs made for 4’x4’s. I also know how I’m going to set up the stair down to the brick (when the deck is made level to account for the slope, the top of the support at the brick will be one foot off the ground.)

They started leveling the Superfresh by my house yesterday- it’s totally demolished and now they’re in the process of hauling the debris away.

I’ve been reading Don’t Make Me Think and getting a lot of very useful information out of it, along with some other links to places I’ve found in the last two weeks. I’m thinking that I’m going to test my family on the 10-20 system and see how they react to it, take notes, and write up a report for John when I get back. I know there are a number of improvements I already want to make on the interface and in the writing; going to Jakob Nielsen’s site and reading through the writing sections has me thinking. I also need to dig out my copy of The Elements of Style from the basement boxes.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: June 25, 2002 | Filed under art/design, house, Scout | Leave a Comment »

Life has been good. This weekend was really fun; We went to a great rooftop deck party on Saturday night with Jason and Shelly and drank and talked about non party-safe things. We also got the south planter filled and planted (temporarily) with flowers; lantana and another high-heat resistant breed I can’t pronounce.

Date posted: June 24, 2002 | Filed under Baltimore, friends, photo | Leave a Comment »

June 21, lilies in Jen's front yard

June 21, lilies in Jen's front yard

I’ve been offline for a couple of days now, but I’m about to post the log on the site.

Ok, I am humbled. 37signals. Wow. I have a lot of thinking to do in the next few days- I also got my copy of Don’t Make Me Think today, and I found a great book on Photoshop tecniques at the discout book seller last night.

Date posted: June 21, 2002 | Filed under photo | Leave a Comment »

Dad made it through his pre-stress test with flying colors, so he will be making his appointment to have the surgery next month sometime. whew.

I found a couple of interesting articles from a variety of different sources;
this one Meg Hourihan, about what we do when we blog, and why. Dave over at UserLand has a handy little primer on news aggregators with RSS, something I’ve been thinking about hooking up for some time now (as my links page is hopelessly outdated and useless.)

Date posted: June 18, 2002 | Filed under family | Leave a Comment »

Driving through beautiful Highlandtown this weekend, I was interested to see a pile of burned-out drum equipment laying outside the pawn shop on the corner. Seems the whole second floor started burning and when the firemen showed up, they pitched all the burning debris out the window. The owners took the time to board up all the second-floor windows, but left all the crap on the sidewalk.

I am shocked, amazed, and happy to find a website with my old amigo Pat Finlay online; it’s through his old art collective SimpArch (and the contact information is very old.) I have to get some kind of contact info for him that is newer and better (he’s at a boatbuilding school in Berkeley right now, and I don’t have current contact information.)

I’m not going to post any new photos online yet, but I got the gravel into the planters this weekend, the PVC cut and installed for the lighting, and the brick over the outflow pipe by the back gate put in. I also have a plan for the pergola roof, but I need to get permission from Dick, my neighbor, to drill into his wall in order to install the bases. It will be a much easier solution than digging holes, leveling posts, pouring concrete, and topping them from there… I hope he’s cool with it.

As perfect a two and a half-minute long song could be: a shimmering, beautiful, melancholy paean to growing older: Mermaid Smiled, by XTC.

Date posted: June 17, 2002 | Filed under Baltimore, friends | Leave a Comment »

Jen and I went to the Charleston restaurant on Friday to celebrate nothing in particular; It had been recommended to us by some folks, so we gave it a shot. After being seated, the service was spectacular, but the atmosphere was dulled by the conversation of a family seated behind me, specifically the daughter. Sample statement:

“So I have this spider bite on my leg. It’s really gross- it got all big and pus-y.”

So Jen and I slammed our cocktails. But the meal was great; fried green tomatoes are good! Even better is filet wrapped in bacon. I have to admit though, for sheer taste and enjoyment, we liked Louisiana (the first time) better.

So Anderson is guilty. I suddenly have a shred of hope for the American judicial system.

Date posted: June 15, 2002 | Filed under humor | Leave a Comment »

Last night I saw four of the Apple ‘Switch’ ads, and they were pretty good. They were effective in that they put a human face on some of the people who switched back from the PC; I found it interesting that A. they were booked during the Stanley Cup finals (good, because every other damn thing was a repeat) and B. all the people featured were creative in some way. Right on. Bring ’em back, Apple. These commercials made me think, for some reason, of the commercials of the mid to late 80’s with simple people talking and identifying themselves. Well done.

This morning I was awakened by the clock radio, which is tuned to the local ‘alternative’ radio station (what a joke) and playing a new song by Eminem. Now, I don’t understand how Eminem got ‘alternative’, and I’ve never understood why this dude has appeal. He has a nasal, whiny voice, and his backing track is the most annoying, cheap-ass beat I’ve ever heard. I can’t imagine an entire album of that.

Date posted: June 14, 2002 | Filed under apple, music | Leave a Comment »

I just ordered a book from Amazon.com, Don’t Make Me Think: Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug, and while I was at it, I picked up the new release by DJ Shadow. I found a weblog based here in Baltimore written by an IA at e.magination, and followed a link and found the recommendation.

One wonders why the makers of Eudora, when adding their dictionary for the spell-check feature, did not add the word ‘internet’.

Not much to write about today- a pretty mindless day of updates and edits to the interface/print materials. I believe I may stop at the Home Depot and pick up some sand for the backyard, but I don’t know if I can put it in tonight because of the weather.

Date posted: June 13, 2002 | Filed under art/design | Leave a Comment »