EvoCam

I picked up an iSight a couple of weeks ago, but haven't really had the time or inclination to set it up and play with it. I only know one other person who has purchased one, and we work in the same office every day so don't have any real need to videoconference. I finally decided to unpack it and have a go this afternoon during some server downtime at the office. EvoCam makes a great companion piece of software for it, it supports a Java applet based stream that is pretty neat, and does the normal ftp webcam thing that you would expect. It's very customizable, including timestamps and any other text that you might want superimposed on the webcam image. Best of all, it will only set you back 20 dollars, definitely a good deal, and I will be registering my copy as soon as my trial runs out.

Aw hell yeah

BLOGGER finally has Safari blog bookmarklet support. Perhaps I shouldn't be spending all this time moving to Movable Type after all. On that note, I was quite surprised to see that Movable Type's preferred import format is a plain old text file. I've maintained an xml version of all my posts, mainly thinking in advance about havign move to either blog software written by me or someone else. It'd be nice if I could just map my xml to their post format and hit a button or something. I guess I can do what I need to do pretty easily with XSLT though.

Low on time, wifi expanding fast

I'm sitting in my neighborhood Starbucks, taking advantage of tacking unlimited hotspot access to my cellphone bill for 20 bucks a month. When I first did it a couple of months ago, I would rarely see anyone else here with a computer, let alone accessing the net. Over the last couple of months however, the number of people using the hotspot seems to have been going up at an incredible rate. Today, there are a total of five of us, all using Powerbooks. This in what I wouldn't consider a high tech neighborhood at all.

Long Open Championship Weekend

Well, I have jet lag. Not because I traveled, but because I had to pretend that I was living in the same time zone as London for the last four days while our team covered the Open Championship. The site turned out great, and everything ran smoothly in the Golf Scoring/XML parsing land that my work is comprised of. I've actually become a much bigger fan of golf in the last few months working on the site, and it was fun this weekend to see these amazing players challenged with a course and conditions that made them struggle. Now I have to attempt to get my sleep schedule to return to normal.

Politics and Facts

I think that the thing that disturbs me the most about the two party political system we currently have in this country is that both groups feel the need to stretch the truth or resort to unprovable rhetoric in order to make their points. This is probably meant to muddy the waters for people who take things at face, but it is incredibly difficult to attempt to educate myself on important issues with all of the "doody" floating in the waters.

Haircuts and Will Power

I went and got my hair cut this afternoon. For years, I had long hair, and I only got a haircut every three of four months, there was no need to do otherwise. Since I went the short hair route six months ago, I have to go every six weeks or so to keep the appearance of neatness. Not that I mind the whole personal grooming routine, I think I actually enjoy it more than most men I know. They mostly seem to want to go in to get their hair cut and spend as little time maintaining their hair every day as possible. Anyway, I'm digressing, this is supposed to be an essay about will power or, more accurately, the battle of the hair styles that occurs on my head every six weeks. I go to a fancy salon, it's an indulgence that I allow myself, and I really enjoy the whole process of going, changing into the special salon robe, getting a scalp massage, a shampoo, and finally getting my hair cut. While this has all gone well, it's the styling part, post-haircut, where the trouble arises. While I am keeping things pretty conservative, my stylist likes to make some artisitic choices when styling my hair that I am not certain work for me. He's an artist though, and I don't want to belittle his judgement because he probably does know better than I do what works. Don't laugh at me when I call him an artist, do you have any idea the havoc that a bad haircut can wreak in one's life? So anyway, I'm sitting here in Starbucks, connected to the Wi-Fi, wondering whether I should be styling my hair when I get up tomorrow the way he styled it this afternoon, or the way that I think it should be styled.

Blogfusion

Well, I will say that it seems like quite a lot of squabbling has been going on in blog-land the last couple of weeks. Taking a simplistic viewpoint, it might seem like Dave Winer against the rest of the blog-tool vendors and a smattering of community folks. It seems, from my perspective, that both groups have written things that are somewhat questionable, but I don't really want to get into a "I'm gonna take a side and here is why the other guys are wrong" position. From my perspective, as a real long term blog maintainer guy, it seems like there was an infrastructure in blogland that worked pretty well, and could be enhanced over time if everyone could work together, which seems unlikely from what I have seen. Since it seemed unlikely that everyone could work together, which, in my perception, has very little to do with the technology side of things, one group decided to build a new set of infrastructure for blogland. It seems like a huge undertaking from the perspective of arriving at a consensus and then properly implementing and testing this consensus in software. These wheels are in motion, and while it does no one any harm for me to express an opinion about this, I doubt there is much that anyone could do to halt the inertia of the situation. So I will just say this, it seems, from what I can tell, that there is no one in this situation who is primarily motivated by the practical good of blogland itself. I find this frustrating, but I am going to go get a nice cup of coffee now, and then I might read a book.

Scott and Buddy

Scott's got a good Buddy Hackett story on his blog type thing.

Fresh Mixed Goodness

My favorite discovery of the week so far has been Freshly Mixed. It's a great archive of 407 DJ sets in a variety of styles. It includes some great sets by some really high profile folks too. The only downside is a registration process that requires a valid email address, which made me a little uncomfortable, and download speeds of the massive files are a bit slow, even over a very high speed connection.

Where ya been?

Heh, well I almost don't even know where to start and where to end with this post. I have so much stuff going on in my head. Last week, after tidying work things up after the weekend's tournaments and what not, I struck out on a mini-holiday to sunny Miami. Late June in Miami is supposed to be their offseason, and the general idea was to keep to myself, relax, and destress as much as possible. I've always enjoyed taking off on my own like this, being in a strange city alone doesn't appeal to most people, as far as I can tell, but there is something about the anonymity of it that I really seem to enjoy. I could tell, even from the reactions of the people who work in the hospitality industry down there, that most people seem to view people who are on vacation alone like they are some kind of freaks.

Well, Miami is a beautiful city, the weather was gorgeous for the most part, despite forecasts which said otherwise, and the people were friendly and fun. For the first couple of days, I chose to keep to myself, lying by the pool and reading books, so many books in fact, that I had to run to a nearby bookstore during my lunch wandering the second day to pick up some more material to keep me busy. I will leave the book notes for another entry in the next few days. As the trip progressed, I met some awesome and interesting people who I spent a bunch of time with. I firmly believe that things happen for a reason, and I return with a reinforcement of that opinion. I return refreshed, happier, and far less stressed out than when I left. I wish I could have been gone more than five days, but, fear not, I'm heading up North for some quality time with my family, which is long overdue, this weekend for a couple of days. In the meantime, there seem to be a sheer multitude of work things that need my attention. I guess I should make a couple of notes about places I went to in Miami that I would recommend, since I took pretty copious notes and a bunch of pictures while I was there, but that will have to wait for now.