March 26, 2004
Tips for Bloggers
Isn't it interesting how we find Web sites? Here's how I found this entry:
I was going to lunch and wanted to bring something along to read. Decided not to lug around a book and instead opted for a print-out of an article. So I checked my del.icio.us page and printed out this introductory article on PEAR by Harry Fuecks, who wrote the The PHP Anthology that I purchased a little while back and have just started reading on the MAX. Well, in his article, he didn't have instructions for installing PEAR for OSX (and I got to thinking if no one has written any instructions for OSX-ers, then maybe I will figure it out and write it up), so when I got back to my desk after having some yummy enchiladas at the Global Food Court on 2nd, I went back to the aforementioned article and clicked on "an introduction to PEAR" link which brought me to O'Reilly's ONLamp site (ONLamp = all things open source, i.e. Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc.). I scanned the article and didn't really find what I was looking for. Just then, an ad for a book called Running OSX Panther caught my eye. After reading the description of the book and wiping the drool off the side of my mouth, I noticed a cool feature of O'Reilly's Online Catalog in which you select from a drop-down menu which store you would like to buy the book from. ("Ooo! An ad for MacDeveloper's Journal! Cool! Oh wait, I'm not a MacDeveloper...Hmmm, that might be fun.") I tried amazon.com and a couple of others and then I noticed that they had Powell's listed as well. I thought, "cool!" I can walk over to the technical store and grab a used copy! Then, I decided, "no, better to wait until payday" and went back to O'Reilly's site to hunt down PEAR related articles hopefully written by someone running OSX. I looked at this, and searched for this and decided to go to the O'Reilly home page for a clean start. (I perceived that I was a bit lacking in direction. "Lack of direction?" you say? "Oh no, not at all, " shakes head with sly sarcastic smirk on face.) It was there that I noticed a little paragraph describing an interview called, "Dev to Dev: Panic Interview" and upon further examination of said paragraph, noticed that it was an interview with the author of none other than Running Mac OS X, the very book I was only moments ago salavating over!!! Now with my curiousity piqued by more than just the esoteric name of the article, I clicked on the "Dev to Dev" link, thinking to myself, "Cool! Forget PEAR, I'm gonna read this!" Now galvanting down my dynamically-generated pseudo-geek rabbit trail, I read the interview with increased interest and enthusiasm and quickly discovered that Panic was not only a local Portland outfit, but the creators of my favorite FTP program, Transmit!!! What could possibly be the next revelation?! What an exciting lunch break this is turning out to be! (Go ahead, laugh.) So, how did I get to the blog entry referenced at the beginning of this blog entry? (I know, you're just dying to know!) At the end of the "Dev to Dev" article, the author writes in closing about the co-founders, James Duncan Davidson and Steven Frank. Having already discovered James' book that is now on my payday purchases wish list, I decided to check out Steven's blog, ~stevenf, which I immediately gathered was an MT blog (like my own) and scanning the Recent Entries, found this little entry, "Tips For Bloggers, which led me to this and then back again to writing this entry. (Now how do I do that trackback thing again?)
Well, there you have it. A informal procedural knowledge crash course on how to find information (both interesting, useful, and other miscellaneous tidbits) on the wonderful, deployable, sometimes deplorable World Wide Web.
Thank you for your time. And happy Friday.
March 25, 2004
Here's a map of the countries I've visited. I cheated on a few - Hong Kong (China) and South Korea were only fuel stops. But we did get off the plane!
March 22, 2004
This week's entry was very inspirational. I have consulted Listamatic many times for inspiration and a quick copy and paste, but I hadn't ever looked at the creator's work. The work done for the Australian Museum Online is truly stunning. Kudos to the Web design shop, Max Design and thanks for the proverbial breath of fresh air.
March 18, 2004
This week's SojoMail...
Some good stuff in this week's SojoMail. Check it out: SojoMail (March 18, 2004)
"This is the United States government we are talking about..."
"Any suggestion that the most powerful country in the world cannot make good on its fiduciary duty to Individual Indian Trust beneficiaries should be viewed as the sham that it isa thinly veiled attempt to punish trust beneficiaries and turn public opinion against proper accounting and distribution of trust funds monies." Full release here: Why Individual Indian Trust Checks Should Not Be Disrupted
I really like that quote. Those lawyers for the plaintiffs at Cobell v. Norton don't pull any punches. =) I wonder if they're having Chris Carter or any of the writers from the X-Files write press releases for them. (See this post.) Oh wait, this isn't fiction. This is actually happening. The United States government (and in this case we're talking about the Department of the Interior, headed by Secretary Gale Norton) has been actively engaged in being the most distrustful, deceptive, and irresponsible fiduciary manager in the history of the United States.
For those of you who unfamiliar with this case, here's a brief excerpt from the Cobell v. Norton Web site:
Cobell v. Norton is a class-action lawsuit filed on June 10, 1996, in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to force the federal government to account for billions of dollars belonging to approximately 500,000 American Indians and their heirs, and held in trust since the late 19th century.
Through document discovery and courtroom testimony, the case has revealed mismanagement, ineptness, dishonesty and delay by federal officials, leading U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to declare their conduct "fiscal and governmental irresponsibility in its purest form."
March 17, 2004
A Saint's Day: About St. Patrick
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, which I totally forgot was today, I thought I would post a couple of links regarding the saint originally known as Patricius Magonus Sucatus.
- A contribution Goshen's Lent 2004 devotional site, this entry features a poem (with a morale) that tells the story of St. Patrick's life and honors St. Patrick as one who being reconciled to God was able to return to the land (Ireland) that enslaved him with love and compassion.
- It's really (really) long, and I only managed to read the first few paragraphs; but, I'll post it here for good measure and maybe get to it later (like so many of the things I post here). It is the confession of St. Patrick (translated, of course). There's also a few trivia tidbits to find if you scroll down (way down) to the bottom.
Happy St. Patrick's Day. (Hey look - my site is St. Patrick's Day compliant!)
March 16, 2004
Interior Unfit To Connect to the Internet: Indian Trust Fund Data Vulnerable
Here's an excerpt from an Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton press release, 3/16/2004, that I found particularly interesting....
For the third time since December 2001, a federal district court ordered the Department of the Interior to disconnect its computer systems from the Internet due to pervasive security weaknesses. The United States District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth issued the preliminary injunction as part of the litigation stemming from the eight-year-old Individual Indian Trust case.
Judge Lamberth found that "the continued connection to the Internet of any IT system that houses or accesses individual Indian trust data constitutes further and continuing irreparable injury to Plaintiffs.... Their continued connection to the Internet provides an opportunity for undetectable, unauthorized persons to access, alter, or destroy individual Indian trust data via an Internet connection." Hundreds of millions of dollars in oil, gas, timber, and grazing trust revenues held on behalf of the individual Indian trust beneficiaries are in jeopardy of loss or theft as a result of Interiorís inability to implement effective security measures.
Read the entire press release at:
Judge Again Orders Interior Dept. to Disconnect Computers from Internet; Cites Vulnerability of Trust Fund Data
I have a few reading recommendations for the Department of the Interior, which seems to be the victim of what can only be described as really really bad leadership. (Unless their mission as a department really is to do harmful, stupid, deceptive things to the country's people and lands.) Here they are:
- Well, anything from security.oreilly.com.
Ok well, that's well over hundred books right there. So maybe they can start with that. In the meantime, maybe Secretary Norton can check out this little volume, which is really one of my favorites -- and I think with the right attitude and level of receptivity, could really be an agent of positive change in her life, relationships, and work.=)
Local teacher helps reshape NCLB
March 09, 2004
All of your perceptions are belong to us
Taking a trip -- even a relatively short trip -- to a country like India (for example) really gives a person perspective. A person like me (for example).
One thing I've become even more acutely aware of is the "hijack routine" the media and the ruling administration pulls on the local presses. What I'd like to know is, who makes up the schedule that determines which cause, person, politcal party or reality TV show gets the limelight at any given time? And where are they getting the information that informs their decision?
Take for example this issue of licensing gay civil unions. What happened here? I admit, I didn't read the paper much while I was away, but why is this (and anything even remotely related to gays, homosexuality, marriage, religion, "sacred unions" or any combination of the above) all of sudden crowding the local press stage? Why is the religious right even wasting it's time on this? So that they can demonstrate their uncanny ability to color anything black and white? Or maybe it's to show off their genius communication strategy that practically guarantees that what they have to say will be misperceived by just about anyone who listens. (Not that I have a strong opionion on this.) If Oregon wants to license gay civil unions and further increase the state's divorce rate, fine. But it seems to me like a waste of resources.
Right now in this state, there are three very boring, very "blah," very unsensational, very downright pathetic issues plaguing our population: hunger, poverty, and education. We are the hungriest state in the country. Did you know that? [See notes 1, 2, 3 at the bottom of this entry.] Poverty in Oregon is largely unseen because most of the poor in Oregon are the working poor. [4, 5] And education? You have to have lived under a rock the past 10 years not to see how Oregon's education system has plummeted (much to the chagrin of the teachers, students, parents, community members, and many others!)
Now some may feel that the debate surrounding "gay marriages" is centered around a question of morality and religious values. On the other hand, issues in the arenas of poverty, hunger, and education are in fact "social questions" that really have no moral or religious implications. So to compare them or to pit them against each other as I am doing is really just presenting a false alternative. And, in fact, (you might be thinking) "we must, we must object strenuously to licenscing gay marriages" because of the moral implications.
I beg to differ. And I'm not alone.
A group of "likely voters" and a mix of Republicans and Democrats were asked, "The question of values is sure to be important to many voters this November. As you decide your vote for president of the United States, which of the following would be more important to you: hearing a candidate's position on gay marriage or hearing a candidate's plan for fighting poverty?"
The results? 78% of respondants indicated they would rather hear a candidate's plan for fighting poverty as opposed to the 15% who would rather hear a candidate's position on gay marriage. 
Maybe you've been blocking out all the debate, hoopla, and news media craziness surrounding the "gay marriage debate." Maybe you've heard enough. Maybe you're sick of it and really don't want to hear another word about it. Maybe you couldn't care less. Maybe you would just like everyone to just shut up about it, thank you very much. Yes, you would be very happy about that.
So let me ask you this: What do think should take its place in the limelight? If you were Big Brother out there devising the limelight schedule...if you could decide what the local media reported on the evening news...what would be worthy of your attention? Would ending hunger in Oregon be a worthy enough cause for you? What about ending poverty? Or how about improving education for students and teachers state-wide? Or upon hearing about these things, would you think to yourself, or remark to your buddy over coffee, "I've heard enough."
I trust this is not the case with you. With that trust in mind, I've pasted in a few links referenced in this entry that you might find useful in your (newfound?) journey control the headlines (in your mind, at any rate).
March 02, 2004
Why see "The Passion of the Christ"?
If anyone is out there listening, I am curious to know why you have or haven't seen the movie, "The Passion of the Christ." I am also interested to hear from those of you who are planning on seeing it. What is your personal reason for wanting to see or actually going to see the movie?
I am finding the buzz surrounding this movie facinating and am very curious to hear from the 5 or 6 of you out there who might be reading this. =)
March 01, 2004
The piece of software recovers deleted pics from digital camera memory cards. Hopefully won't have to use this anytime soon, but a good one for the "file drawer." Looks like the OSX release version is a free download, otherwise $24.95. (There's a fully functional demo, however.)