scrap pad

moving people

15k people per hour, by different transport modes. street, highway, bus, rail, etc. via kottke.

skiing in sac

bay area ski bus: $89 for bus and lift ticket, from sacramento to one of three lake tahoe mountains.

jake leg

"jake leg" -- paralyzed leg(s) caused by a prohibition-era additive to jamaican ginger extract. via mimi smartypants.

1.0 vs. 2.0 snark

Web 1.0: Joshua Davis on the cover of Art News.
Web 2.0: 37signals on the cover of Forbes.

zeldman on web 2.0 vs. web 1.0. I had grown to like the 'web 2.0' thing, but am sour on it after reading the 80 million comments on that post. web 1.0: never called "web 1.0" until after it was supposedly over. web 2.0: called "web 2.0" too early and too often.

screencasting resource

how the screencasts on diveintomark are made (screencast on openid)

"wearing the shit out of" == "rocking", I think.

I got off the bus at the wrong terminal this morning, and went to ask a person in an airport jacket where my check-in desk was. "Hey, player," he said. He gave me very good directions not that the other building was hard to find. "You're wearing the shit out of that Stetson," he said as I thanked him and walked off.

It's not actually a Stetson, it's some random NY brand Fedora, but yeah: it's slick.

christmas present for mom

ok, thought of an awesome awesome gift idea for my mom. finally. and two weeks too late, too: it's a book of photos from my travels this summer, printed via iphoto. I'm really excited about it! except that it means I will be giving my mom a dorky little card with a photo in it, and a note on what's in the mail. plus I probably won't get to see the final product; I'm really curious how the colors will come out, plus it has a few full-page photos that probably won't look as great as they do on my screen. I just finished putting it together five minutes ago.

carry ons

I'm flying Sunday, and wondering if my big backpack can be packed small enough to be a carry on. us airways' baggage policies.

beautiful business cards

both his previous cards, color background with stamped info, and his current cards, letterpress with parts of giant letters.


I love the idea of twitter, for some reason. except that I don't text, and don't have friends who text, which is pretty much fine by me (except for not being able to use twitter; I don't see the point of twitter unless you're texting to it). reasons the simplebits dude likes twitter.

wood pixels

woodpixel: "blurring the divisions between digital and physical play" (neat; also: bah humbug.) via.

icon recognizability

on icon shapes, kindof, but with neurons and fancier words. (Icon Analysis - Evaluating Low Spatial Frequency Compositions). via that post on new adobe cs icons.

dumb icons

horrific new Adobe CS icons. saw them the other day but mezzoblue eloquently explains why they suck.

font rendering in Mac browsers

problems with font rendering in Mac browsers

flock site and drupal

flock's new website is made with drupal. hrm:

It was also my first chance to play with Drupal 5. Unfortunately, although it’s a very powerful CMS, I didn’t have the greatest time with it as it came to be one of _the most cumbersome_ and roundabout pieces of software I’ve ever worked with. Maybe, I’m just too used to how WordPress works. But if you’re looking at applying a theme to a Drupal installation, remember that there’s quite a learning curve when trying to conquer those quirky nodes and blocks.

tinyMCE bug

too lazy to do my own research: firefox doesn't give the 'textarea' (with copy, paste, etc) contextual menu in textareas with tinyMCE. instead it gives the regular 'web page' contextual menu (back, forward, reload, frame, etc).


How can people stand to spend all day in front of their computer when they consider themselves 'bad' at using computers? Why would anyone be content to work with something that baffles them so much? Or, why do people consider themselved bad at using computers when they are obviously proficient, using them day after day in the office?

Also, how is it that people use Outlook for two years and don't notice that there's a drafts folder, especially when it says [200] by it?

birthday list response

birthday present from kb

excel charts -> gifs

saving an excel chart as a gif (from excel on windows, using a vb macro)

unicode as html entities

handy reference: unicode characters as html entities.


I'm using some of these tango desktop project icons in my drupal control panel (pretty icons for the users to clicky-clicky).

more festivus

someone is selling festivus poles. via darryl.

my word of the day



pictures of people with their festivus poles. via kb.

blackstrap molasses

picture of two bottles of molasses

I love blackstrap molasses but the packaging sets off some alarms for me. 20% rda of iron, 15% rda of calcium, plus racism (could I use my kitchen centerfuge to seperate that out?)

"RDA" = recommended daily allowance.

time of year

last night I made christmas packages.

for later

thing I intend to read, but not now: blogs as electronic learning journals. (via)

type terms, approximately defined

tied letters
pied type
type that has been dumped in a pile/made a mess of. also, calling something "pied" means it's been screwed up.
capital letters

usability testing

quick, effective usability testing. via simon willison.

mates of state

mates of state mp3s. recorded at daytrotter, but I have no idea what daytrotter is (other than having a blog). haven't listened to the mp3s yet.

dancing in the street

best part of my morning so far: mick jagger and david bowie, dancing in the street, 1985 (youtube). via joey of asofterworld.


glossary of printing and typography terms.

simon willison

simon willison moved his blog. now with more links (kindof).

birthday list!

awesome awesome birthday present: from ben.

brownie recipe

brownies with brown rice syrup. haha, they call them "sugar-free" which is not at all accurate. I want to try them anyway.

egg substitutions

for baking: simple egg replacements, complicated egg replacements.

what are you, iodine deficient or something?

funniest article ever about iodized salt. (nytimes 12/16/06)


Watch the Video

uh, probably there are other things I wanted more, I got a webcam. actually I was thinking of my mom, and how she mentioned video chat ever-so-briefly... I saw it in the store and though, oh! I can get a webcam for my mom! so I got it, but then I realized, the webcam should be for *me* because I'm the one she wants to see. a new twist on buying things that you want for other people. I'm not being very successful at this christmas shopping thing.

it's the "Logitech Quickcam for Notebooks Deluxe" (they add "deluxe" on to that but it's pretty non-deluxe. it was $50 at office max ($43 at amazon). I downloaded macam to make it work with my mac. (mostly: just on the left usb port, and there's no 'on' light.) the quality of the cam itself is acceptable I guess; at least it's bright. I was sitting in my dimly lit kitchen when recording the video above. for comparison, the picture my camera (canon powershot s230, still) takes in the same kitchen:

kb made a point thursday about webcams are weird because you never make eye contact. very true.

UPDATE: skype crashes a lot (three times in an hour) using this camera, macam 0.9.0, os x 10.4.7 on a g4 powerbook, and skype also, ichat doesn't recognize the camera at all, even with macam. I might return the web cam, because without skype and/or ichat, it's no good to me. also: there is a mic in the camera, I just had the sound input of my computer set to the built in mic (and I guess macam only records from the camera -- makes sense -- but sound was off... so there's no sound in the video above.)

hope u r well.

on writing holiday cards.

ie css bugs

list of IE CSS bugs.

food blog that's not about recipes

curious cook: a blog on food chemistry!

overflow: hidden

apparently IE 5 doesn't respect overflow: hidden on elements unless you explicitly set position: relative;. huh. am discovering more ie quirks than I ever cared to know about. (a message on wrapping long urls with css helped me out with the overflow thing)

css2 generated content

special characters in css2 generated content: you can't just do content: '»'; you have to use the ISO 10646 character codes, like so: content: '\00BB'; (that's a right-pointing angle quote). ISO 10646 == Unicode. Mac users can find these codes in the character palette, by hovering over any character.

alpha transparency and ie

another article on making internet explorer use png alpha transparency.


ze frank/the show talked today about online communities moving from "playground to posse" - large, low entry, fluid online socializing (myspace, flickr, blogs) vs. small groups of people who hang together (six apart's new vox, livejournal).

noticed while typing

"eligibility" has the same number of "i"s as "initialized" and twice as many as "circuitous." but "eligibility" is particularly fun because in its middle every other letter is an "i". eliligibility eligibility eligibility eligibility eligibility eligibiliti eiligibilitiy eligibility

oh, man, my thursday nights are so fun these days. eligibility.

computer fantasy

when I grow up/get a job that pays in money (as opposed to stipend plus foodstamps eligibility) I will buy lots of computer stuff. for example: 500 gb western digital harddrive with firewire 400 and 800 and usb 2. currently I'm sticking with the disk pictured above, plus my full 120 gig drive that is thousands of miles away.

vaguely annoyed

I upgraded to the blogger beta, but now the blogThis! bookmarklet doesn't work. grr. (this issue in the blogger help google group)

media reform conference

2005 National Conference for Media Reform - session mp3s. for later listening.

music curiousity almost sated

three mp3s from the new clap your hands say yeah: two at the band's website, one at you aint no picasso. via docopenhagen, who did the 50 top music videos of 2006 thing (I'm always suprised there are more than 50 music videos to choose from in a year... but that's my youtube-free-youth speaking)

college tuition

"tuition free MIT"

taking advantage of iTunes sharing

OurTunes - java app for retrieving shared iTunes music.

wikipedia citations

since july-ish I guess. on the left hand side of articles, in the "toolbox" menu, there is a "cite this article" link. it gives a bibliographic info, a permanent link, and the citation in a bunch of styles. useful! hah. if I were ever to cite wikipedia as a source, which I highly doubt. (via this on flickr)

south park +WoW

an episode of south park this fall was filmed partly in world of warcraft. interview about "Make Love, Not Warcraft" at

nerds: self-identify!

I'm always intrigued when people try to extend the way online-style communities and social networks to the real world. online communities are so fluid; something as simple as replying to someone's post or being a friend of their friend puts you in their community. joining is as simple as showing up. I just saw; their tagline is "an invitation to play." basically you wear a button saying you're a nintendo ds nerd and want to play ds with random people. wearing webdesign-nerd tshirts means something similar. and then there is bookcrossing, warchalking (even though it never caught on), stickers with urls on them, the orange band for dialogue... all things trying to shorten the barriers that prevent people from talking to eachother or sharing information.

also: myspace music has been really success full at going the opposite direction. mobile phone social networking is trying desperately to be midway between.

web design testing

Browsershots - screenshots of your site in different browsers.

iPod in space

photo from the space station - there's an ipod taped to the wall near the astronaut's head.

making powerpoint slideshows smaller

my work tends to make 33 MB powerpoints. super useful: Making Powerpoint slide shows smaller.

birthday list

I'm cross posting this, because.

Things I want for my birthday:

  • a picture of your shadow
  • a recording of you reading a poem, singing a song, or saying a sentence
  • a sentence with a word you like
  • a description of a tree you know
  • an mp3 of a song you like
  • a drawing of your mittens/gloves
  • a video of you eating a cookie
  • the html hex or rgb of a color you like

If you want to give me something(s!) from this list, you can email things to me with "birthday list" in the subject and I won't open them until I turn 23 on the 18th.

my list is all about 'you' because I'm curious who will answer, what you will come up with, and because it will mean that on my birthday I'll be thinking about people thinking about me, which is a cozy thing to think about.

special request for Ben because you're at umass boston (not actually very birthday-related): will you take a picture of the bathroom symbol people in the campus center? they were outline people and I want them for my collection. I saw them at the PSO by the dining room, though they're probably on all the bathrooms in that building.

hats and beards

ho ho ho hat: add a note to a flickr photo saying "ho ho ho hat" or "ho ho ho beard" and it puts a hat or a beard on your photo. via waxy, via A Whole Lotta Nothing.

windows in a tiny window on my mac

the smallter the better. the Remote Desktop Connection Client 1.0.3 for Mac OS X is free. kind of crappy, but means I can use IE to test stuff at home (if I figure out what address to use).

chick peas

roasted chickpeas

christmas present for mom?

nikki mcclure calendar

song lyrics gone tuneless

last week I was whispering "rats eating sausages a cross eyed cat paws a saucer." this week I'm whispering "I am, an emergency vehicle I am, an emergency vehicle I am..." (kb: have you heard Scout Niblett? try her album I am, then Sweet Heart Fever.) these phrases make me think of "Madame Cleo cuts hair in a fuschia pink geodesic dome."

food coop + food stamps

not only does the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op accept food stamps, they give you an extra 10% when you use them.


why isn't at working for me? (schedules a job but it doesn't get executed) UNIX man pages : at

carrot cookies?

like carrot cake in cookie form. "Carrot Fruit Jumbles." if they weren't called "jumbles" I'd be a lot happier.

oh, beans

bean arithmatic:
  • A pound of beans measures about 2 cups.
  • Beans triple in volume when soaked and cooked.
  • A cup of dry beans yields 3 cups cooked.
  • A pound of dry beans yields 6 cups cooked.
  • Use 3 cups of water per cup of dry beans for soaking.
  • A one-pound can of cooked beans measures about 2 cups.

from storage and soaking of dry beans at the central bean co. website ("Browse our web site to learn about the magic of beans"). they also have a chart of bean cooking times, mostly 1 to 1.5 hours... not the 2-2.5 hours I usually see.


someday I will get smart and back stuff up. SuperDuper!, Déjà Vu, rdiff-backup.

soy milk maker

saw one of these in SF; eventually I kind of want one. Soy Milk Maker by SoyQuick.

Good King Wenceslas

I used to sing this carol a lot, and at all times of the year, but especially when carrying wood. It still gets stuck in my head occasionally. Good King Wenceslas.

tech talk

Recognizing Web 2.0 - recorded talk at sitepoint. via simon willison.

the show with zefrank

ze frank on studying. good advice, and I think he's even serious.


finally, Dr. Who using some decent technology. actually, I just enjoyed this shot because the meta triggered a cool little explosion in my brain. from Dr Who 2006, ep 13, time ~5:39. I'm bringing some episodes of the Dr. to my dad around christmas.

hey lady

it always freaks me out when people refer to me as a lady, a girl, a woman, Ms., or say things like: "a tech savvy woman such as yourself." not that I'm not, or I don't identify as such, but it's private! a secret identity! uh, in my head. also, I generally don't go around referring to people by their identities unless it's relevent. I don't feel like I'm justified in feeling weird about this, though.

long walk

guy walks from airport to hotel. 20 miles. I think it's funny that it warrants a nytimes article. I definitely feel the last sentence: It’s all I can do to keep myself from being isolated all the time. also:

... he added that walking made him feel better than drugs ever had. “But I’m not addicted,” he said. “I don’t need to score a walk.”

(one of my favorite days in Ireland was walking 22 miles from the farm up to Sligo.)

math joke

Q: What is the first derivative of a cow?
A: Prime Rib!

(mimi smartypants)


HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux:

1.1 Audience: This document is intended mainly for the male Linux enthusiast who would like to see more women involved in Linux. Its secondary audience is both men and women who have been too busy having fun with Linux and computers to sit down and think about why most women don't share their interests.


Guide to Snowflakes. has a pretty chart of ice crystal shapes ("types of snowflakes"). (via worlds fair).

onion rings

really simple beer batter onion rings recipe: Onion Rings. If I lived in the same town as my mom I would invite her over and make them. other things I love and would want to make for my mother: grits, eggs, and biscuits; falafel; burritos; sushi. It's often a conscious effort for me to remember not to take offense when people don't want my food.


KB = kilobytes. Kb = kilobits. 1 KB = 8 kb.

css z-index

mystery solved: the css z-index property only applies when elements have the position property set.

cellular networks

The Wild World of US Cellular Networks. via daring fireball.

link text

I'm beginning to think that "more »" is the "click here" of the newer web (web 2.0? 2006? post-dot-com? something like that.)

colbert/daily show

The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are on ifilm legally now. (tip via waxy: article about it).

roasted chick peas

Appetizers - Roasted Chickpea Nuts

another "carnival"

Carnival of Feminists #20


a bunch of blog posts on how to deal with being poor. Help Us Help Ourselves #1

"inessential weirdnesses"

It's not "them" - it's us! - on the exclusivity (and how to temper it) of middle class progressives.

It's very, very hard for progressive-middle-class activists to see our alternative subcultures as related to our privileged class status.


Neither does a voluntarily low income turn you into a working-class person if you grew up in a professional-middle-class household and went to college.

didn't go today and at this rate probably won't...

sacramento area christmas tree farms.

bangkok thai, I miss you

possibly good thai in sacramento? Siam Restaurant - Sacramento. via heckasac.

joanna newsom in sf

I got all excited when I saw a mention that joanna newsom is playing in SF on 12/19 and 12/20, but it's sold out.

sugar refining

sugar refining (pub 1949), another description, with diagrams.


four star review of Anton's album in the London Times

still camera shopping

looking at pictures taken by different cameras on flickr and found this: donut pub!

more hard drive things

how to get the hard drive out of a PowerBook G4. not needed for my computer, knock-on-wood.


a tripod that grabs on to things. Gorillapod, $21


I love the zipper and the hood: hacked up houndstooth jacket. but not necessarily the materials.

crude battery status graphs

graph 1, yellow line: battery percent charged vs. time (minutes).

graph 2, blue line: estimated time until battery is fully charged or discharged vs time (minutes).

It's difficult to get numbers from this because the scale is such that you can't tell exactly where the points are. there are a few discontinuities where either the computer was asleep or fully charged.

I don't feel like analyzing it much, but: note the leveling off of % charged as it nears 100% on the yellow graph; the slope of the decline of the yellow line shows how quickly the battery is discharging (the 5th decline: 180 minutes; the 7th: 190 minutes, though possibly that flat-ish spot should be a discontinuity for sleep).

the blue graph is kind of silly, because the thing being graphed is an estimate that the pmset utility makes. the curve is an interesting shape when it's charging, though. (charging is crudely denoted by negative numbers).

noted stuff related to this before: pmset, obsessed with graphing.

dvd screencapture

on mac os x. summary: play the dvd with vlc, or use the commandline screen capture utility, like screencapture -c. How can I extract a frame from a DVD?

heard on the radio/podcast

some artist talking on Living on Earth (a public radio show): "basically what distinguishes human beings from other animals is the the ability to engage in cognative proceses." that is a really stupid attempt to describe the difference between humans and animals, and it made me cringe. (November 17, 2006 episode of Living on Earth. maybe 3/4 of the way through.)

pretty png gradients

blended backgrounds with pngs and css - even in IE 6! Super-Easy Blendy Backgrounds at A List Apart. I tend to unconditionally hate css hacks, but I've discoverd an overriding love for transparent pngs.

comment on kb's laptop not working

these damn laptops! if they can't make them work consistently, they should stop putting so many features in them: no optical drive? -- you'll always know whether or not you can burn a cd. no screen? -- no dead pixels. no hard drive? -- never loses your data. no power supply? -- no burning smells.

Though I guess once you've got the laptop, it's tough to return to the abacus and letterpress (without the not-quite-super-aural whines and the scent of hot printed circuit boards, life just ain't the same). hope that power supply revvs right back up like a 'vette.

I guess it's chintzy to post bits from emails and comments elsewhere, but w-ever. I looked up words for this.


I made quinoa pancakes and blogged about it: travel - quinoa pancakes

sketchfighter 4000

SketchFighter 4000 alpha: a game made of sketches. looks pretty neat, and Ambrosia Software has always made awesome games... I remember playing their stuff in middle school (Escape Velocity! man, that was awesome.) via daringfireball.

booming tshirt business

the online tshirt business is so big that Threadless can manage to have shirts specially manufactured for just them.


who I am