November 30, 2005
Archival Restoration

It's finally done. The uploads of the original blogger site (September 1999 - mid-2001) are imported herein, with poor formatting. Use the calendar browser to see my early experiments (and discover how many familiar names were there!).

As a special bonus, I've also uploaded the PickHits 1999 weblog experiment. Handcoded in wintry snowstorm.

Posted by esinclai at 10:28 PM
November 27, 2005
Likes and Thanks

Some recent likes from this weekend....

  • Obviously, spending time with friends for the thankful holidays. And the pie. As A. Nord once famously said "I like Pie!"
  • Relistening to the Koln Konzert by Vert, a delicious reconstruction of the Keith Jarrett work by a very similar name. Glitchy, introverted and happy.
  • Textmate. Very slick.
  • Trying out the current Kinkless GTD templates. They work, they integrate with iCal, and now that I have Missing Sync 5.02 mostly sussed, they get to my Palm as well. The only drawback to this is that they still aren't as zippy as paper can be (but they are more self-organizing...)
  • Getting the MPP archives back online. Now to find issue number 3....
Posted by esinclai at 10:31 PM
November 24, 2005
Thanksgiving Day

This weekend AZ and I have come down to Bloomington for Thanksgiving celebrations, spending time with friends, enjoying the Canopy of Lights festival, and decompressing.

It's an odd turnabout from my childhood, when my parents and I would make the periodically snowy trek north to Chicago to be with my mother's parents, AZ and I now make the trek southward instead, staying in the house my parents owned, but left to be filled only with memories of their lives here.

Today we've been imposing upon Stan's kitchen to make an apple pie, streaming the BBC World Service over the DSL hookup, reading a backlog of books and magazines, and generally enjoying ourselves.

To our friends far and wide, may this weekend be as nice, whether it's trekking south in NYC, north on IN37, or flying across Texas... enjoy.

Posted by esinclai at 12:51 PM
November 17, 2005
Bibs and Bobs

There's an upcoming Ruby on Rails meets Python's Django (aka Snakes and Rubies) discussion to be held here on 3 December. It's probably unlikely to have the same hipster quotient as did the Evening at the Adler preso did, but it should be interesting.

QotD: "The subtext of all rock songs is 'Will you pull your pants down'" -- Bruce Springsteen

Desired future iPod feature (esp for podcasts...) "Auto-Yakking-Leap", where I could autoskip the yakking that poorly produced podcasters shove into their shows. Could be implemented with basic audio recognition to just skip the next three "um" sounds....

Fun typo search that shouldn't work: Tuby on Rails.

Posted by esinclai at 06:37 AM
November 13, 2005
Chi Humena Humena Fest

This week, thanks to the gracious giveaway from my employer, AZ and I were able to attend a few sessions of the Chicago Humanities Festival. We've intended to go every year for the past several, but it never quite worked out. having attended four sessions this year, the impetus to attend again is high, and we should be able to leap the chasm of lassitude next year handily.

We attended four sessions, and I'd say we had a 75%+ success rate. To wit:

Last week a seminar on the works of William Maxwell. AZ and I attended as we are fans of the New Yorker and the various editors who spent time there; Maxwell was fiction editor during the William Shawn years, but in the context of this instructive talk he was also a notable author in his own right, and a translator of midwestern life into east coast (and somewhat modernist) fiction.

Saturday we were up early to attend to the words of New Yorkerist Adam Gopnik, speaking on the theory that it is in our sense of private space (in his recounting of Voltaire, our gardens) is our ability to empathize with those others who have private spaces in need of protecting; this first shimmer of enlightenment thought is also, in Gopnik's, the first glimmering of modernity. This follows through to Tocqueville and (dramatically) William Dean Howells. In a sense, as this was taken from various essays Gopnik has written over the years, it was a bit of the 'greatest hits', but the synthesis and threading (and humor in aside) made it well worthwhile.

Hermione Lee provided an engaging overview of the sojourn in England of Edith Wharton (in her view, an under-appreciated period in Wharton's life). Fine photos of English Gardens, and spirited readings from Henry James. This is a work in progress for her next biography (of Wharton), tentatively due in 2006.

Finally, we ended our weekend with Noelle Riley Fitch on Julia Child. This was the rockiest - Fitch's work on Child was some 6-10 years ago, and this lecture came out as sounding like one she may have drafted before Child's death, and then skimmed before speaking, making a mental note to change tenses whade nowadays... Notable gossip - the Child family feels that the Julie and Julia book may have taken fictional liberties. Seems dubious (surely publisher fact checking would have caught any problems).

We discovered that for each of the authors we have books on our shelves that we treasured by them; there were signing tables after each session, which we should have taken advantage of. Next year.

One warning for attendees - the audiences skew old (so hipsters should beware, and no shoving!), and some of the sessions, were packed (the Maxwell session was not one of those). We were fortunate to have 'access all areas' passes, but next year we'll be booking early.

Posted by esinclai at 03:28 PM
November 01, 2005

It's shooting fish in a barrel, this poking fun at recommendation engines, but... well, who doesn't like a nice fish fry. Or a Sole Meuniere?

For some reason I ended up searching for Julie Powell's book in the iTunes music store (Julie and Julia). And helpfully, iTMS tells me what else I might like.... Reba... Johnny... Willie... and Gene Simmons!

Riyl Jnj

I'm still waiting for the printed book, by the way... But the holidays are coming!

Posted by esinclai at 07:35 PM