decafbad recaffeinated

a lightweight meme stream from a lazy serial enthusiast

  1. Saturday, November 10, 2007

    1. Hello world. I'm trying out yet another blog.

      This blog is something new for me: After around seven years of using Eastgate Tinderbox for private notes, I finally sat down and spent time with its HTML export templates. After a bit of amateur design effort and some trial and error, I've thrown together something to publish online.

      This isn't entirely new, however. I've borrowed a crapload from Tumblr by building lots of templates for memes and media objects. And, I've tried to model authoring habits after what I do with the OPML Editor by centering the thing around a page-a-day and a minimum of mental cost in getting things out of my head.

      Let's see how far I go with it.

    2. I might try doing a screencast of how I blog with this thing. It might be interesting to someone.

    3. The feeds are probably invalid around here. Still got kinks to work out.

    4. I'm also trying to decide whether this thing needs comments.

    5. Still Alive

      This is a great song from the ending of Portal, excellent for trying out my inline audio player.

    6. As you can see, I've got a few tricks in the templates.

      I can drop in items especially styled for quotes, chat transcripts, images, audio files, and the occasional long-winded essay. Eventually I hope to find a streamlined way to use each of them.

    7. Since I've been watching a crazy amount of Babylon 5 lately, I'll try another trick.

    8. Everyone always coming to Zathras with problems. Great responsibilities. But Zathras does not mind. Zathras trained in crisis management.


    9. I think that's enough for the moment. I'm going to try pushing this stuff to my web site.

  2. Sunday, November 11, 2007

    1. Hello world. Oh, look: It's another day!

      I wonder how much I'll actually do with this thing?

    2. Plans for this thing

      One of the next things I'd like to do with this blog is hook in some importing from my own feeds. That is, give it an inbox from my myriad other accounts like Delicious, Twitter, Flickr, etc. Then, I can copy and tweak content items from each of those and turn them into items posted here.

      I'm wondering whether something manually massaged would work out better than just a simple automated feed blender. Given that I'm working off and on with FeedMagick, I'll probably do that too eventually and stick that on the front page of

  3. Monday, November 12, 2007

    1. Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.

      Dread Pirate Roberts

    2. So, I've been using Tinderbox for a number of years now. I've used it in various capacities as an outliner, a personal idea catcher, and a book planner. And up until now, I've been plotting constantly to kill it....

      (Read more)
    3. Hello world. Shiny new toy blog here, let's see how it works.

    4. Things are a little bare here at the moment.

      I'm starting pretty much from scratch here, trying to build things up carefully a piece at a time. It's very sparse right now: just the bare minimum needed to get some stuff out on the web with just a tiny bit of flavor.

      I'm wondering what sort of additional navigation I might add in, and whether I can get away with a sidebar or a few contextual widgets that won't completely drive the page into a bloated mess. I may tap Haloscan or Disqus for some comments. I might pull in a MyBlogLog thingy. Or maybe none of the above. Hmm.

  4. Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    1. The original name of this blog was "decafbad recaffinated" — but it really should have been "decafbad recaffeinated" as per astute reader Ryan Steele....

      (Read more)
    2. Another good thing about Tinderbox

      It doesn't have a web-accessible admin interface that can be exploited or somehow left unsecured. That's a plus.

    3. So I couldn't resist adding comments...

      I basically already had the code ready from my OPML blog, so I just adapted things a bit to integrate Haloscan comments into this thing. I'm tempted to see if the new and shiny Disqus service could fit in here, but that's another day's project.

    4. Thinking about "asides" vs "essays"

      I'm trying to keep "asides" to between one sentence and maybe two paragraphs - whereas "essays" become a teaser paragraph linked to a full page devoted to the text. Seems arbitrary, and maybe "essay" is the wrong term — I mean, I don't really write proper Five-Paragraph Essays around here so much.

    5. "This may pinch a bit"

      Had a 2 hour dentist appointment today. That sucked. My dentist is cool, though: He stuck a DVD player in my lap and put a myvu on my face to distract from the business at hand.

    6. I'm happy to see the hard work in the Zope community has finally started to pay off: for a change, our Zope work is actually being associated with flexible pluggable things instead of evil monolithic things. It's welcome news.

      Martijn Faassen

    7. I'm weary of all this PHP crud. Someday, I would like to return to the Python web world. I miss WSGI.

    8. I don't know that I miss working in Zope so much, though.

    9. Repoze

      Want the maturity of Zope now with the flexibility of the WSGI future?

      Repoze integrates Zope technologies with WSGI and reusable Python middleware.

  5. Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    1. Holy crap, Tinderbox makes me want to edit and tweak more than any other web authoring tool.

    2. My handwriting skills have decayed. My ability to communicate without editing has decayed. My patience for creating text at a rate slower than I think has decayed. Typing is fast, handwriting is slow. So is handwriting all that important?

      danah boyd

    3. I know I'm not the only guy carrying around a Moleskine (with stickers, even) and a pen in his pocket, but I have been asked a few times why I have one of those and not some super slick digital device. I'd like to have a better smartphone, but I've found no real substitute for a good pocket journal and a decent pen. In fact, I value this little journal so much that I've hacked it a bit to ditch my wallet, so as to reduce the stuff in my pockets....

      (Read more)
    4. So to that guy that was sitting next to me, typing madly and muttering to himself, during a really interesting session, I wished your batteries died and you lost all network connections and your pen ran out of ink. Time to face the present champ.

      Crocodile guilt / Play with the Machine

    5. Not sure if this rebuild qualifies as "fetishizing the interesting" or not. But really the old Ruby/Typo system was junk; it needed replacing. Handcrafted artisanal innovation.

      Once again with energy / Play with the Machine

    6. Replace Ruby/Typo in the above with Tinderbox, and you've got me.

  6. Thursday, November 15, 2007

    1. Hello world. Zooty, zoot-zoot.

      Another day at the Tag Mines. Things are looking up, though.

    2. Played a little EVE Online last night.

      Since they make a Mac OS X client now, thanks to Cider, I tried a little EVE Online last night. I figured that since I like space ships more than trolls, maybe I'll like EVE more than WoW.

      I'm not convinced yet: My first experience felt like an overwhelming flood of spreadsheets and statistics, as well as a relentless march of loading screens and wait times during routine play. The graphics were not bad, reminding me of the last time I played Freespace. But, in contrast, EVE definitely does not feel like an action game — whereas WoW does.

    3. One server, no realms.

      One interesting thing about EVE Online, though, is that the universe isn't sharded into realms like WoW. Hosting issues aside, EVE benefits from the vastness of (mostly empty) space in which to distribute the players. Since the environment in WoW is a detailed terrestrial landscape, it's a little hard to create a scalable space to make room for everyone.

      But the realms system seems to be one of the biggest failings of WoW — the most crippling to its social nature, since it makes it so hard to play with your friends if you happen to have picked the wrong shard to start on. Sure, you can move your character, but it costs money and has some PvP / PvE restrictions — and who wants to keep moving if you have multiple clusters of friends across multiple realms?

  7. Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    1. Hello world.

      Just 87 or so bookmarks away from 10k on Delicious. I'm hoping to time my 10k-day with the release of Delicious 2. Let's see how that works out — hopefully it means I need to start hustling!

    2. Playing with video entries

      I just got an initial rough version of some dirty JavaScript hackery to inject YouTube players for video entries from URLs I drag into my new fancy Tinderblog. Hopefully it's not too annoying, though I'll probably go overboard today with the new toy.

      I'm expecting to add a few other video cases when I find them interesting to include.

    3. Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-boggingly big it is.

      Douglas Adams, by way of Brad Cook

    4. Maybe I'm just making excuses for my daudling, but one reason I've gotten hooked on World of Warcraft and maybe now EVE Online is that I think that social software like Delicious has a lot to learn from MMORPGs....

      (Read more)
    5. EVE Online | EVE API Documentation

      The EVE API is a platform created to allow third party tools (programs, web sites, etc) to access character and corporation data for the purpose of enhancing the EVE experience.

    6. Results of the 13th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition

      Welcome to IFComp 2007, the competition for short text adventures.

    7. YouTube - MC Frontalot - It Is Pitch Dark

    8. Lifestream Tinker Toy, Powered By Yahoo! Pipes [tail -f carlo.log]

      a lifestream is basically a big bucket (i.e. web page) where all the updates and update notifications from your blog, your ADD-induced Twitter posts, your Flickr uploads etc come together in one concise way so it’s easier for others to ignore them. ... I figured it’d be fairly easy to build something server-less using a wee bit of Javascript and Yahoo! Pipes.

    9. Lifestreams with FeedMagick2

      For what it's worth, I hope to turn the front page of into a lifestream using an OPML reading list and FeedMagick2, in the not too distant future. Why not use Yahoo! Pipes? Because that'd be too easy, and besides: I need an itch to scratch to work more on FeedMagick2.

    10. YouTube - Beastie Boys - Shake Your Rump

  8. Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    1. Hello world.

      Wow, tomorrow is Thanksgiving already - holidays always sneak up on me.

    2. Tomorrow is also the day when the OPML 2.0 spec is finalized. If you have any further comments, this is the last minute! As they say, speak now or forever be a troll turkey.

      Dave Winer

    3. We didn't impersonate anyone - we are Dummies Man, and he was only on Facebook as a goodwill ambassador for the brand.

      Chris Webb, "A Facebook Ban for Dummies Man"

    4. Ejecting from the Path Bar in Leopard's Finder

      One thing I like about the new Finder in Leopard is that I can right-click and eject a volume from the Path Bar.

    5. Quick screenshot blogging

      Another thing that I like is that the previous aside was quite fast to compose - thanks to the Grab utility on OS X, ImageWell, and Tinderbox. Take a quick timed screenshot, crop it, copy it to clipboard, and paste it into the entry - done.

    6. YouTube - Babylon 5 S5 Opening

      The theme song is the earworm stuck in my head today. Ugh. Why, oh why does it have to be this season?

    7. YouTube - Babylon 5 S4 Opening

      I would hate my brain a little less if this were stuck in my head, but it's just not as cheesily catchy.

  9. Thursday, November 22, 2007

    1. Hello world.

      Happy Turkey Day. Enjoy great food coma! Today will offer greater than usual randomness.

    2. Netflix puppet master

      So, she started getting mysterious Netflix deliveries a few years ago. As random as that was, she accepted it and started writing reviews for them. As of October, she's up to #118. How awesome is that? (For this, I blame Toby.)

    3. My wife accepted my friend request on Facebook today.

      The future has arrived.

    4. YouTube - Chocolate Rain 8Bit Remix

  10. Friday, November 23, 2007

    1. Hello world

      Hope you had a good Turkey day. Send me your leftover turkey - I hunger for sandwiches.

    2. The Dangers of "World of Warcraft" - The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century

      (It's not a new find, but I still /giggle at it.)

    3. Information Society - Come With Me

      One of my old favorite songs from Information Society, laden with Star Trek samples. Buy it on iTunes.

    4. - Information Society - Come With Me

      Sources of voice samples in music.

      • [sample] 00:00 - What is the meaning?
      • [source] - Star Trek: "The Changeling" (TV, 1967) Vic Perrin (voice of Nomad)
      • [sample] 00:23 - Breakdown.
      • [source] - Star Trek: "The Changeling" (TV, 1967) Vic Perrin (voice of Nomad)
      • [sample] 01:46 - Singing. What purpose is singing? ...I like to sing.
      • [source] - Star Trek: "The Changeling" (TV, 1967) Nichelle Nichols (as Lt. Uhura) and Vic Perrin (voice of Nomad)
      • [sample] 03:01 - I felt like music. Think about music.
      • [source] - Star Trek: "The Changeling" (TV, 1967) Nichelle Nichols (as Lt. Uhura) and Vic Perrin (voice of Nomad)
    5. YouTube - Nomad scans Uhura

      It's always eerie to suddenly become aware of the original source of samples in a song I've heard for years and for which I've never before made the connection.

  11. Sunday, November 25, 2007

    1. Hello world.

      I've spent most of the weekend heads down coding to catch up at work, so I've had even less insightful stuff than usual to post over the past few days. Of course, since that amount is approximate to zero on most scales, it might not have been noticed. :)

    2. Media blogging

      I haven't done much of it before, so hopefully I'm not overdoing it now — but now that I've got this more flexible Tinderbox blog, I'm trying out more media objects like music and video.

      Friday's little dip into digging up the source of samples from a song is the sort of thing that fascinates me, but I've never really found a way to piece together that sort of thing that seemed like worth the effort. Let me know how it seems to be working.

    3. YouTube - Charlie Jade opening credits

      Looks like I've managed to get stlhood hooked on one of my favorite scifi shows that'll never come to the US.

    4. PromoGuy dot Net: Music Heard in Target Christmas Commercial (2007): Counting Down

      The version in the commercial is a new recording, made just for Target. As best I can tell, it is not for sale, and was made just for Target to use.

    5. YouTube - count down calendar

      I really liked this song from the new Target commercial.

    6. YouTube - Jim Noir "My Patch"

      The original version has completely different lyrics than the one in the commercial.

  12. Monday, November 26, 2007

    1. Hello world.

      I just got a bit of gold-spam in EVEmail. It begins: "Friendship is like peeing your pants, everyone notices but only you can feel the warmth. So I just wanna thank all of you for being the pants and pee =)"

      Touching, but gross. Suffice to say I did not buy the ISK.

    2. ... But then something happened as Digg grew from 100 users to 100,000 and more. I'm not going to characterize it other than to say that it stopped being interesting to me as it grew. The stories weren't what I was looking for. ... I want starting a Digg-like community to be as easy as creating a weblog on ...

      Dave Winer, "The next step in Digg clones (Scripting News)"

    3. With apologies to Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska: A community is not a place that you just dump people on. It's not a big truck....

      (Read more)
    4. Moment of truth for EVE approaches

      I have 3 days left in my EVE Online trial. The question for me now is whether it's worth subscribing and maintaining both a WoW and an EVE habit. I'm not giving up the WoW yet, but I wonder if I might find better uses of my time than what one of my friends has called "a spreadsheet with a pretty screensaver behind it."

      It seems like a very pretty screensaver, and the spreadsheet has some interesting stuff going on in it — but I'm still sort of trying to decide if it's more fun than interesting.

    5. Vanilla for flexible contextual comments?

      I've been working with Vanilla a lot lately, and I'm wondering: How hard would it be to replace my usage of Haloscan for in-context comments here with some tweakage of a self-hosted Vanilla? It would need some JSON / JS integration love, and some thread auto-creation to pair with individual entries. Also, some OpenID and / or some comment spam defense would be nice.

    6. Automatic shutdown for serial enthusiasms

      Seeing as I'm a serial enthusiast, I'm better at starting things up than maintaining or cleaning them up.

      Take my WordPress blog, for instance: It got hacked, and I think mostly because I've neglected it and haven't kept it updated. I've turned the installation into an SVN check-out now, which should make updating so much easier — but I'm still likely to neglect it. Maybe I need a regular reminder.

      Though, what I really need is to build my little projects with a self-destruct timer. They should all automatically evaporate, lock down, switch off, or otherwise render themselves inert after a certain period of inattention. That way, I don't leave all sorts of potential gotchas in my wake as I absentmindedly wander off from them.

    7. YouTube - Will It Blend? - Guitar Hero III

      "...but it doesn't play the Beach Boys. So, I'm going to blend it! ... Wow! Purple haze!"

  13. Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    1. Hello world.

      Our TiVo is sad that the writers are striking.

    2. You know, it's too bad that one of the first most public cross-site mashups is as evil as the Facebook Beacon. I've been thinking for awhile now about what could be done in a JS-based widget using cookies and identity. ...

      (Read more)
    3. Inline audio slowdown

      Crud. I tried to include some EVE Online tracks here, but it looks like the inline audio player I'm using decided to play the MP3s at far too slow a speed.

      Oh yeah: It's because the MP3s are encoded at a sample rate of 48kHz, and the audio player can only handle multiples of 11.025 kHz. Doh.

      Oh yeah, yeah: Remember this command — lame -b 48 --resample 22.05 mysong.wav mysong.mp3

    4. Music of EVE

      Is it a sign that I keep listening to the EVE Online soundtrack at work? Still on the fence about signing up in a couple of days when the trial ends. Also, looks like there's an official music download page, but all the links seem to be broken.

    5. EVE Online - EVE Rock 01

    6. EVE Online - Nouvelle Rouvenor Hero

    7. EVE Online - We Fight Proud for the Holder

  14. Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    1. Hello world.

      I'd say this new Tinderbox-built tumblelog has been a success so far. I've lived with it over two weeks now and posted 5-7 things just about every day. That's a pretty good upgrade from almost complete silence. Now the challenge is to see if I keep it up after it stops feeling like a new toy to me — that, or I find a way to keep it new and shiny for myself.

    2. You know what I miss? The web before Movable Type and WordPress. Or, rather, I miss the period right around when Movable Type was getting popular and WordPress was still b2. It seems like a lot of fires have died out since then....

      (Read more)
  15. Thursday, November 29, 2007

    1. Hello world.

      Working from home today with what I hope is some temporary form of plague. At least the cats seem pleased.

    2. YouTube - Charlie Brookers ScreenWipe Computer Games

    3. Amateur Hour at the Design Shop

      Since Mark Bernstein linked to me yesterday, I've noticed an uptick in traffic and a few people bookmarking me on delicious. I've also gotten a few comments on the design here — surprisingly, a few of the comments seem to imply that the design's not horrible yet as a designer I should be able to do better. In reality, I'm a developer who managed to cargo cult and steal a patchwork design from other sites that doesn't make my own eyes bleed. Much.

      In any case, there's acres and acres of room for improvement — suggestions or offers of free help welcomed.

    4. The Deal with the Shaded Boxes

      Since I saw a comment about this in particular on delicious: I'm trying something with the icons and shaded boxes to set apart media objects and longer length self-authored pieces from the random asides I spew. Not sure how well that's working, though. They're kinda weird and cramped together.

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