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May 30, 2004

Three thoughts before bedtime

1. That Modest Mouse in mondo-mega-super rotation on every station that doesn't play hip-hop, "Float On?" It sounds to me like the Talking Heads minus David Byrne plus Eddie Vedder covering Falco. The word "syncretism" comes to mind, only it's musical idol worship. Maybe Mark could define syncretism.

2. Website work continues. Annabel's site template is effectively completed (with some minor color tweaking coming). Writing content for Annabel's site is the next task.

3. My whole mother's side of my family is having a reunion this weekend... in McAlester. Annabel was too young to travel, so we stayed in Seattle and made a Costco run. Their loss. Annabel spent her first trip to Costco sleeping in the Baby Bjorn, eliciting at least a half dozen "cutest baby in existence" comments.

Posted by dylan at 12:07 AM | Comments (2)

May 29, 2004

Moo Cow Blues

You finally get your girlfriend to say yes, she'll marry you. However, her parents in East Africa want a bride-price: 100 cows.

Complication One: You don't own 100 cows.
Complication Two: You make diddly as a checkout clerk at the PCC, so it'll take you a while to buy those cows.
Complication Three: They won't take frozen ground beef.

Such is the problem of one Peter Deng. The good people of Seattle are trying to raise the money to help him buy the 100 cows and plane ticket to Kenya.

Best of luck to him. Sadly, I only have frozen ground beef to offer, and as mentioned before, that's not going to help.

Posted by dylan at 10:39 PM

May 21, 2004

Make my logo

While I'm thinking about it, I'd love to have an actual logo for the site, and I will pay... something for one of you graphical minded people to design one for me. What I'm looking for is a pub sign. Something like this or this or this. Only, see, this is the Client and Server. So I'm looking for:

If you come up with something, I'll give you credit (including linkbacks) and use it on the site. I might also use it on business cards if I get the money.

It just occurred to me that I asked a bunch of photographers to attempt graphic design. This means I'll probably get exactly zero responses.

Anyway, if any of you attempt this, drop me a comment or post to your site + Trackback.

Posted by dylan at 03:21 PM

Upcoming web-citement

Here's a list of ongoing projects involving this here blog.

  1. Annabel's web site. I'm working on getting that launched. So far I have done nothing to move that forward. No, wait, I picked a background color. ETA: Memorial Day, or when you see a team of hogs in the missing man formation zooming in the wild blue above you.
  2. Redesign C and S. It has been a year; it's time for a new look. I've never been all that happy with the Movable Type template, anyway. This would be #1 were it not for the ENDLESSCONTINUOUSANNOYINGREPETITIVE clamor for STILLMOREANDMOREANDMORE baby pictures. ETA: Who knows?
  3. Posting the California trip summary. It's been nearly a year now, and yet I still haven't put the dang summary together. I have actually done some design work on it, but the pages are high bandwidth right now and would probably bust my 10GB monthly cap if all four of you regular viewers were to take a peek. ETA: Plane in transit.
  4. About Dylan. Well, do you really want to know? ETA: Cancelled.

Posted by dylan at 03:18 PM

May 18, 2004

Meetup tomorrow night

Yes, I will be there. I will try and bring baby pictures for all the women to fawn over.

Posted by dylan at 11:57 PM

May 16, 2004

Movable Type at weekend's end

Many developments on the Movable Type front over the weekend, including a rethink of the MT 3.0 license and an apology to beta testers for being left of out the loop. I'm still not convinced that MT 3.0 is the right way forward for this site.

First, the beta tester issue. Saturday morning I found an e-mail in my box from Six Apart. Excerpt:

We didn't communicate well enough with you about this release. We're sorry, both as a company and as individuals since most of us at Six Apart have been communicating with those of you in this beta test for weeks or months.

As a thanks for your work and interest, you'll be getting a significant discount on Movable Type 3.0.

Well, that's all better now, isn't it? Yeesh. You see this when companies go from 2 employees to 28 as they did -- the customers get run over by the momentum to control the message and the delivery of the product. There's also a lot of hubris that springs forth. Your product is good. It's so good, it's great. It's so great that it will be irresistable to your customer. In fact, there are no problems with it, and if anyone says there are, surely they are lying. Oh, and the previous version doesn't need to be supported, not when the new product is so perfect and irresistable.

Think about all the times in the tech industry we've seen hubris run over the customer. Remember Intel's floating point problem? How about all those Microsoft products that didn't need patching? Or what about Apple's maltreatment of iPod users with dead batteries or severe security problems with Jaguar? In every case, they poo-poo the problem, a backlash builds, they back down -- and take some damage in customer satisfaction. 6A ran over everyone by dropping their new licensing plan, the one they so carefully researched (with some questionable work in my opinion), on everyone AS they were launching the product, not BEFORE.

For years, there's been this agreement in place that there'd be two versions of MT when it finally went Hollywood: Regular and Pro. Regular would be pretty much the same MT everyone had enjoyed and would be free. Pro would have all the bells and whistles power users, media enterprises, and corporate users would need, and they would pay for it. The number of blogs and users wasn't the restriction; the feature set was. The new Weltanschaung of 6A, though, eliminates the Pro version and moves the restriction onto users and blogs, and that is a fundamental difference from the promises they openly and tacitly made to their customers.

Imagine if you were always told that your commute route would one day have high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes installed. One day, you get on the road and discover a big toll booth across the highway, and upon pulling into the gate you're told that it's a per wheel charge, but it's free if you have one person and three wheels. Wouldn't you be a little angry?

The blogosphere is filled with chatter about the MT changes. Harry says this:

But I can't muster much outrage about the new MT 3.0 pricing. Maybe if I'd spent some time upgrading and then found out about the charges, like Dylan, I'd feel differently. But sometimes I think the internet generation is just a bunch of spoiled geekbrats, wanting everything for free. The reality is, companies that can't figure out a way to bring in money don't last long. And there's still not a broadly-applicable model for internet companies.

Yeah, you're right, there are some people who are geekbrats who want it free, but many more are not. Their complaints are legion.


I know 6A wants to make some money, and I don't have a problem with it. I don't like, though, how they kept us beta testers in the dark, and I don't like how they sprung the changes upon their hundreds of thousands of customers like they were a certain company in Redmond. I've soured on them, and I'll need to think hard whether my money would be better spent on MT3 or a summer's supply of diapers from Costco.

I now have copies of ExpressionEngine and WordPress; thanks to everyone for the advice. (And no, Dave, I'm not going to roll my own. :) ) When I get time (HA!) I'm going to install them and compare them. I'll then make a decision about whose blog tool reigns supreme, and that tool will win the right to run C and S. Stay tuned.

Posted by dylan at 10:01 PM | Comments (2)

Any more?

I'm overdue in getting these questions out to people, thanks to a gassy Ms. Annabel demanding burping 24/7. I should note that Ms. Dayment answered her questions five days ago.

So, now more questions, including ones... for my mother.

Mike

  1. Who are you?
  2. If you couldn't be a webmaster, what vocation would you choose?
  3. Biscuits -- butter or gravy?
  4. What three people from all of history would you like to be stuck in an elevator with for three hours?
  5. Name five CDs you can't live without.

Samantha

  1. You dis Florida a lot. Say something nice about it... or if you can't, say something nice about Jeff.
  2. Fess up to your guiltiest musical pleasure.
  3. If your life was a TV show, which network would show it... and at what time? Would the reruns be syndicated, and if so who would show them and at what time of day?
  4. After a year in Seattle, is there anywhere you haven't been in town that you'd like to see?
  5. You have a year to live and a big wad of cash. Where would you move to enjoy your remaining days?

Mom
  1. When I was a kid, I remember you playing a lot of Neil Diamond. What's the deal with him?
  2. Name your favorite melon.
  3. You're Marcia. I'm Dylan. My daughter is Annabel. What is the deal with the hard-to-spell names?
  4. Where (professionally || socially || physically) do you hope to be in five years?
  5. Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks?

Yes, I'll still take more people if they want to be subjected to my evil interview questions. Just leave a comment.

THE RULES:
1. leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. i will respond; i'll ask you five questions.
3. you'll update your website with my five questions, and your five answers.
4. you'll include this explanation.
5. you'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Posted by dylan at 06:27 PM | Comments (1)

May 14, 2004

Suckered

Say you have a car. Now, it's a free car, as in this reality this make of car is free. It's a four door sedan, decent mileage, gets the job done, lots of flexibility. One day, you get a call from the car dealer and they ask you, "Hey, we're working on a new model and we're looking for people to test it out and tell us what's wrong with it. Now, mind you, in order to use this car, we'll have to take your old one away." You think, OK, sure, let's do it.

So, you pick up the new car and give it a spin. Plenty of bugs, couple of buttons and lights it never had before, different dash board, different paint color. It's an improvement over the previous car, enough to let you think that it'll be an OK replacement.

Now, the car company then holds a press conference trumpeting this new car that it'll be selling to aftermarket developers. That's right, selling. The car you've been trying out is for the people with the big bucks, more than you can afford. Oh, they say, there will be a free version of the car, and they unveil that.

One seat.

Now, you've always needed two seats in your car. The company, however, has decided that only those with the cash should be able to have a second seat.

And now, here's your problem. Your car is the test model for the new, expensive auto they'll be selling to those with the big money. You can't afford it, but they took away your old car and have yet to offer to give it back to you. You're faced with either paying for a brand new car or junking the test model. Of course, they never TOLD you this upfront, so you're just a little steamed that they would pull this bait 'n' switch on you.

Welcome to Movable Type 3.0 beta 4. Can't afford the new 3.0, can't undo things back to 2.661. I'm a little angry at a certain company right now.

I'm open to suggestions for new blogging software. Here are my requirements:
-- More than one author
-- Able to run three blogs
-- Be able to import everything from MT into new software
-- Run with Apache/MySQL/(Perl||PHP)

Optionally, I'd like some plugins that can read RSS and from APIs, but these aren't deal-killers.

Posted by dylan at 02:46 PM | Comments (7)

May 13, 2004

Beta Boy

I'm now running the beta version of Moveable Type 3. If you see anything weird, odd, or non-functional, blame it on the beta (and let me know).

The rest of the questions will go out shortly. I'm home from work today with a sick baby, sick wife, and a sick me.

Posted by dylan at 10:50 AM | Comments (4)

May 10, 2004

Any answers?

Well, Elaine, Kat, and Adam have answered. Stace probably will as soon as she's recovered from her gardening and concerting.

Now, it's Mark's turn:

  1. When you got married, you also gained a daughter. How did getting an instant family affect you? How does that play into your impending fatherhood?
  2. Who will write the treatment for Rev Mark Hasty: The Movie? What director is attached to it? Is it true Dakota Fanning has been tabbed to play your step-daughter?
  3. Do you think it's a bigger struggle to be a political liberal in the conservative/evangelical church, or a political conservative in the mainline/liberal church?
  4. If a genie came to you and offered to make you extremely athletic and thus extremely wealthy, but that in doing so you'd become a professional baseball player, would you take him up on the offer?
  5. Fess up to your guiltiest musical pleasure.

Invitation's still open for anyone else who wants to play. I'll be happy to answer any questions you want to throw me.

Posted by dylan at 10:51 PM | Comments (3)

May 09, 2004

Any questions?

Here are the questions I've sent out.

Elaine

  1. How did you get into web design and web development? Was it by accident or design?
  2. If you could replace all the Muzak in the world with your favorites, what artists/styles would you choose?
  3. Give your pitch for the world's worst reality TV series.
  4. Your 30th birthday is this year. Any regrets about your 20s? Are your approaching your thirties with optimism or pessimism?
  5. Any food allergies or aversions we need to know about?

Stacy

  1. Many of your favorite movies (Natural Born Killers, Seven, Casino) have very graphic scenes of violence. What do you think that says about you?
  2. If given a choice, would you rather be forced to give up mustard, mayonnaise, or ketchup?
  3. What are the lessons you've learned from blogging your life?
  4. If your life was a movie, what artists would contribute songs to the soundtrack? Who would compose the score?
  5. Would you recommend that people move to Seattle or not?

Pillo

  1. What should I know about you, since I don't know you?
  2. If you could make the entire world read one book, what book?
  3. Corn: On the cob, whole kernel, creamed, or pop?
  4. If you could have any person in history give your eulogy, who would you choose?
  5. Where (professionally || socially || physically) do you hope to be in five years?

Kat (pt. 2)

  1. Now that you're self-employed, what life routines have you changed?
  2. What is your favorite color?
  3. Even though you'll never allow yourself to have kids, what names would you consider if you did?
  4. If you could expunge anything dumb you've ever said to anyone, what would it be?
  5. Peter Sellers or Sean Connery?

Posted by dylan at 10:21 PM | Comments (7)

Annabel's first Mariners game

132_3215.jpg
Too bad the M's couldn't hold a six-run lead.

Posted by dylan at 06:40 PM | Comments (2)

May 06, 2004

The Interview Game, redux

Back last August I did the Interview Game. Since I'm not producing a lot of content on this site right now (and I have quadrupled my total readership to four) I thought I'd revive it.

If you want me to interview you, just leave me a comment.

THE RULES:
1. leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. i will respond; i'll ask you five questions.
3. you'll update your website with my five questions, and your five answers.
4. you'll include this explanation.
5. you'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Posted by dylan at 07:37 AM | Comments (7)

May 04, 2004

Me, South Park-ified

southpark.gif

They didn't have a receding hairline feature, so we have to make do.

Make yer own.

Posted by dylan at 05:54 PM | Comments (4)

May 03, 2004

Spare time? What's that?

Annabel is sucking up my spare time, so much so that I checked the site today and discovered there were no posts; they'd all fallen off. Oops.

Here's a bunch of Annabel pics as a peace offering.

Posted by dylan at 11:03 PM | Comments (3)