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 2001.12.31
i'm lucky enough to be her favourite cousin.

my favourite cousin | me and barbara xmas eve 2001

article & updates on the wasp >> here !

 2001.12.28
haunted

last friday, a couple of friends and i went on a little road trip up to seaforth, about 70 clicks north of here. we drove up in scotty's truck; three of us in the cab, coffees in hand, telling stories and jokes along the way. we visisted some friends up in seaforth and clinton. it was a good time and i hope to make this a more regular trek.

but an odd thing happened along the way. as we were driving through lucan, an OPP officer pulled us over. apparently someone had called in to report that we had been throwing beer cans from the truck. we found this rather amusing, given that none of us drink(for today). scotty remembered seeing a can on the road, back near birr, and thought it was possible that it had gotten kicked up by the truck as we passed over it. the officer agreed and after a cursory check of the truck, he let us resume our trip.

that was a quirky little incident, an odd and amusing little event. but there was more in this for me.

when the officer had walked up to the driver's side window and i saw his face, i was struck by a strong sense of recognition. while he was talking to scott and looking through the pickup, i was trying to place him. i knew this man but i couldn't think of how or why. not until we got back in the truck and we were driving away.

then i remembered. he was one of the officers who arrested the man who shot and killed my sister megan. over four years ago, and about four hundred miles away in bruce mines.

and now all the memories are fresh again.

the day in september at my mother's place in toronto when we received the news. the funeral. the spiral of grief, anger and booze on which i embarked for four months. the trip to tadoussac the following summer to spread her ashes on the waters of the saguenay river. the trial, which took place in december and january three years ago, bracketing christmas in a cruel tangle of bitter memories. memories of tears and anger. memories of bitterness and defeat. of loss. of megan.

we drove over a beer can and the memories began to flow.

all week they have been tumbling out, unbidden. bits and pieces from the past in no particular order. some are but minor details, little things i didn't even suspect i had retained. others run deeper, and give me cause to stop and reflect.

we drove over a beer can on number 4 highway outside of birr, the driver of the vehicle behind us thought we — three guys who don't drink, but how could they know that? — were throwing cans out of the truck, so they called it in on their cellphone, because they are the sort of person who is responsible enough to report such things, the dispatch alerted the local OPP, the officer on patrol that night happened to be someone connected to me and a particular event in a place far from here, who at some point in the last three years has been transfered from northern ontario to the local detachment. this is not the realm of mere coincidence.

in the end, i'm glad i decided to make the trip. even though it stirred up some painful memories. i am scarred, and i need to remeber what it was that scarred me. i must also remember all the healing, all the troubles overcome. the strength gained and the lessons learned. how simple and tempting it is to forget the origins of our current state of grace. to become oblivious to the path we have taken to get here.

i'm thankful for the beer can, and whoever put it on the road.

the universe will not hesitate to align itself, down to a level of detail which includes the careful placement of empty beer cans on the highway, in order to deliver unto you a lesson should you be in need of such a lesson.

my apologies to those of you to whom i had promised to produce certain things. i simply have had neither the time nor the inclination to attend to these matters over the past week.

that's all for this year.
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 2001.12.24

(almost) every friday, and sometimes on a monday, a list apart delivers some of the best articles written by and for web authors. this time around zeldman takes a couple of new mac browsers out for a spin, and he gets some feedback on his reviews from the people who make 'em.

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 2001.12.23

buddha needs wheels

the slashdot community discusses the ford vs. 2600 ruling. the case involved a young "artist and social critic" who had linked to ford's homepage. ford had argued that their trademark was being infringed. from the ruling:

“this court does not believe that congress intended the ftda to be used by trademark holders as a tool for eliminating internet links that, in the trademark holder's subjective view, somehow disparage its trademark. trademark law does not permit plaintiff to enjoin persons from linking to its homepage simply because it does not like the domain name or other content of the linking webpage.”

dom delillo's in the ruins of the future at the guardian.

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 2001.12.20
browsers

there's a new ie5.1 for the mac. here's tantek's announcement on the www-style@w3.org mailing list. opera has also released two mac versions.

stuck with an old pc myself, i find the best choice for my basic surfing needs is k-meleon. this is mozilla without all the bloat you get with netscape 6. n6 is slow as mollases on my machine. but k-meleon is a speed demon; it's GNU and it's free. i set the cache at 0kb, turn off the pop up windows, and away we go. nothing else i have used comes anywhere near this thing. it loads fast, has a small footprint, renders pages pronto, and never complains. it may still be beta, but it has never crashed once on me. something that happens all too frequently with IE and n6. opera is a close close competitor, but i prefer the minimalist approach that k-meleon offers. keep your bells and whistles, i just want to go from here to there — now.

i am the content management system around here. and that's a good thing... for the most part. my apologies for the couple of broken links that showed up over the last week. i think everything has been fixed.

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 2001.12.17
reaching

more...as promised...last week i wrote an article in response to the announcement by the web standards project. i'm not going to get into the details of the announcement or my response here, i want to talk about some other things.

there was a queasy feeling in my gut as i was about to upload the article to the server. i stopped myself. standing up i moved away from the computer and into the spare room where i have a bit of a quiet spot set up.

one of my cats, charlie, joined me.

where was i, at that moment in my life? by issuing such a bold statement would i put into jeoprady a few very tenuous relationships that had just begun? would anyone listen, or care? was i doing the right thing, for myself? for others? deeper, yes i needed to look deeper.

i'm rather new to this medium, but it has become a passion for me. i am fascinated by the code, the structures and the content. i'm always going a bit further, pushing a bit harder. for me, it has always been like that. in grade five, over the blackboard there was a banner that said (i may have this wrong as neither my french nor my memory are terribly reliable) “si c'est vaux faire, c'est vaux bien faire.” and i remembered my mother, billie, who taught me that i should leave a place not as i had found it, but rather that place should be better for my passage through it. these ideas have long ago settled in and become part of who i am.

and then a brief prayer was said and i returned to the computer. i uploaded the article, to my front page no less. the fear had left, replaced by excitement.

there i was, as jan helped me see, at the edge of my abilities, doing what i felt needed to be done, trying to make better something which i love. and that's why the little book about senna that i mentioned yesterday had such resonance with me.

and now i'm going to quiet down for a bit, because there are other things about which i care. and they need my attention.

go in peace

“i have walked that long road to freedom. i have tried not to falter; i have made misteps along the way. but i have discoverd the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. i have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance i have come. but i can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and i dare not linger; for my long walk is not yet ended.”
— nelson mandela
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 2001.12.16
a return to normal ?

“Ah but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?”
— browning

finally finished off richard williams' the death of ayrton senna. williams does a good job of profiling the formula one driver and examining the circumstances of his death in 1994 at the san marino grand prix.

no surprise that, at the heart of this story of a man who pushed himself beyond the limits of his abilities, there lies a spiritual quest.

“there is no end to the knowledge that you can get or the understanding or the peace by going deeper and deeper. i pray regularly, not because it is a habit but because it has innovated my life. i hardly go to church because the only time i feel really good in a church is when there's nobody in it.”

and

“Many times i find myself in a comfortable position, and i don't feel happy about it. it is... an enormous desire to go further, to travel beyond my own limits.”
— senna

more on this later.

phase two has been put on hold. please return your templates to the armoury. thank you all.

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 2001.12.15
w g sebald 1944 - 2001

the ny times reports on the sudden and tragic death of writer w g sebald. via the morning news.

you may have noticed that i am rather busy. i have, you might say, a bee in my bonnet. i hope to be able to stuff that front page down in the stacks soon, for now it stays up and occupies a great deal of my time and energies. but i must take a moment to say thanks to phil for the great screenshots you sent in. i will be putting them all together for a special exhibition. and i wanted to note that there are once again emanations coming from the much missed sylloge; this juicy tidbit was picked up at mememachine.

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 2001.12.13
wonderful wacky world of css
a single style rule and three browsers, all on pc. if anyone out there has seen other variations of this animal please send me a shot — i'd love to see it.

menu in moz

K-Meleon .6 (Mozilla 9.5) (this, i think, is the way it should be.)

menu in ie

caught in IE5.5,

menu in opera

and this is Opera 6

start your collection today!

“browser makers are no longer the problem.” ha ha ha ha ha. hee hee hee. for a good chuckle visit the wasp.

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 2001.12.12
my code is an onion
if you are at all interested in designing web pages, i would urge you to take the time to read owen brigg's design rant. twice. at the very least.

owen is one of the groundbreakers who are rethinking the way we build our pages in the age of style sheets. others in this group include jeffrey zeldman, eric costello, rob chandanais and mike hall.

bugs galore
industry trade shows have long been the proving grounds for the latest and most hardcore advertising gambits. so it is of little surprise to me to see the use of so called web bugs on trade show web sites.

for a particularly egregious example of this technique, you might have a look at the infosecurity europe 2002 exhibition's site and view the source code. at the bottom of the page you will find no less than 55 of these little darlings.

out of concern for our gentle readers, we have not directly linked to the site. if you wish to see for yourself use this URI: http://www.infosec.co.uk/page.cfm. if you would simply like to have a look at the bugs, i have copied them into this text file for your viewing pleasure.

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 2001.12.09
introducing cute little green buttons for permanent links to each day's entry in the archives. clicking on the buttons will take you to the entry in the archives and you can use the resulting URI displayed in your location bar as an address for reference. powered by xhtml and css.

213,466,917 - 1 rules!

by leaving his personal computer on for 45 days and running a bit of code in the background, twenty year old canadian michael cameron has managed to discover the 39th mersenne prime. cameron's efforts are part of a worldwide research project called the great internet mersenne prime search (GIMPS), involving more than 205,000 interconnected computers.

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 2001.12.08
war is not the answer. in the guardian weekend edition, what went on, by ben edmonds, is the story behind marvin gaye's what's going on.

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 2001.12.04
can i remember the sound of such music? i want to remember that sound. when they struck the little bell and all else was silent the bellring lifted itself up into the vault and there it vibrated for an extended moment. it was so real - it was as if it were something one could reach out and touch.

tonight in the chapel of st thomas aquinas at st. peter's seminary, i had the pleasure of attending a concert featuring the early music studio from uwo's faculty of music, along with its vocal ensemble, the thames scholars.

“workers in control or under control?” by brian oliver sheppard is a critique of catalytic software's putative company resort community, a corporate village of domed buildings in india. looks like a prefab sweatshop to me. you can find pictures of the work in progress in this article at monolithicdome.

has america lost the war? greg goldin at la weekly takes a look at the erosion of civil liberties in the usa, and wonders if his country has perhaps taken a turn for the worse in assault on america ii.

“preserving our freedom is one of the main reasons that we are now engaged in this new war on terrorism. we will lose that war without firing a shot if we sacrifice the liberties of the american people.”
— senator russ feingold (d-wisconsin)
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 2001.12.03
the bookmarks are back up, redesigned but not yet complete.

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 2001.12.02
lovingly constructed and beautifully photographed — the brick testament, the story of the bible as told in lego by rev brendan powell smith. i don't think i will ever be able to forget this scene, from the story of noah's ark, showing a woman holding an infant above the rising waters. fortunately all stories are rated for nudity, sexual content, violence and cursing.

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 2001.12.01
this humble little site is participating in the link and think world aids day project. today's special homepage will be archived here.

lecture notes from zeldman's builder/web design world conference address — “designing and building with web standards”(new orleans, nov 01)

my friend mark sends along this message:

“To me at least, it is quite amazing the amount of essays/articles I read daily on the internet (lots of good info at www.commondreams.org for example) whose ideas are never touched on in the more mainstream media such as the globe or cnn or the national post etc... this article pretty much hits the nail on the head. there is a lot going on out there in the big bad world that for what ever reasons is not deemed news.
 
“Also (...) a particularly moving account of what it is actually like in an Afghan refugee camp, something I don't think we can really begin to imagine, and something which our chosen path of war has made much worse. Kind of disturbing, but I think we all have a right to know and a responsibility to think about and certainly are not being told.
 
“Just trying to do my part to get some more information out there...”
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dylanfoleyª†sympatico.ca
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