Sunday, January 10, 2010
Haloscan started charging for their comment processing as of the turn of the year. I am changing comment processors and ... soon everything will be back hunky dory.


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Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Have you played with Bing yet?

Go on. You know you want to!

Run your mouse along the right edge to pull up a synopsis of the page featured. Browse through the related links.

Have fun.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Convert your URL to a Dickensian quote.


Under an accumulation of staggerers, no man can be considered a free agent. No man knocks himself down; if his destiny knocks him down, his destiny must pick him up again.

From The Old Curiosity Shop

Above quote has been attributed to

[via Bella Stander's twitterfeed]

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Monday, January 12, 2009
Down for everyone or just me?
Down for everyone or just me?

Enter a site. checks to see if it thinks the site is up.

[via tweet from Jessamyn West]

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Friday, January 09, 2009
Oooh. Shiny! SourceForge's Apophysis
40 Amazing 3D Fractals Using Apophysis

Apophysis is a free Windows program for designing and rendering fractal flames, available from SourceForge .

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - Transform your photos into tilt-shift miniatures

What are tilt-shift style photos?
Tilt-shift miniature style photos are pictures of real-life scenes that are manipulated to look like model photographs.

Now you can easily transform your existing digital camera photos into tilt-shift miniatures using

This is an interesting app.

But why would you want to do this?

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Monday, December 29, 2008
dm fail! on Twitter
dm fail! Messages from folks who accidentally post a tweet when they meant to DM.

e.g. Dude, you left your hemorrhoid cream and herpes medications over at my place again!

Real or faked? Does it matter?

Update:Twitter is tweaking their code so that people who are DMing can use either D or DM as the abbreviation for direct messaging.

No more dm fail. Alas.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Learned about Wordle via cygnoir. Played with it with my Delicious bookmarks as the resource.

Saved the Java applet results with CutePDF Writer, then pulled the PDF into Photoshop, messed with it and saved it as a .jpg.


So, a bit early, but heartfelt, nonetheless:

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Monday, December 01, 2008
The Pownce Blog -- Goodbye Pownce, Hello Six Apart
The Pownce Blog -- Goodbye Pownce, Hello Six Apart

Pownce is closing down effective December 15th. They've added an export function so you can download all your messages. Leah Culver and Mike Malone are joining the engineering team at Six Apart, and bringing the Pownce technology along with them.

[via a tweet from Laughing Squid]

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Sunday, November 30, 2008
The miracles of modern science - notify a partner of possible STD via e-card
* Choose one of six e-cards (Figure 1),
* Type in recipients' e-mail addresses (up to six),
* Select an STD from a pull-down menu,
* Type in own e-mail address or send anonymously,
* Type in an optional personal message.

PLoS article on inSPOT: The First Online STD Partner Notification System Using Electronic Postcards

Ah, the wonders of the Web.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008
PSA - Showcasing Your Life Online? New Software Uses Images of Keys to Make Copies
Showcasing Your Life Online? New Software Uses Images of Keys to Make Copies

So the lesson to be learned is not to empty your pockets and take pictures of "what's in my pockets" with your keys in clear view and then post the pics on your Facebook page or Web site or blog.

New Sneakey software can setup a keymaking machine to reproduce your key(s).

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Sunday, November 02, 2008
Election 2008 – some fun from Peter Seibel @ Gigamonkeys
Election 2008 – some fun

dashboard periodically fetches the market price of Intrade’s state-by-state election markets, which represent the probability, as assessed by the Intrade traders, that a given candidate will win a given state. From those probabilities I compute the overall probability of various scenarios and color the map appropriate shades of blue and red. I also provide some dials and knobs (sliders) actually, to allow you to play some real-time "what if" games with the results.

[via a tweet from Tim O'Reilly]

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Friday, September 05, 2008
Another Google Chrome Security Flaw Identified
Another Google Chrome Security Flaw Identified: "critical buffer-overflow"

For Pete's sake. We were talking about this just last weekend when the Bixby Creek gang got together at Donner Lake for the long weekend.

The question then was, "Why don't the software engineers at Microsoft check for buffer overflows when they're designing their software? Especially now when they should be overly aware that they have an ongoing problem?" Followed by, "Why don't the QA mavens at Microsoft check to make sure the software engineers have checked for buffer overflows?"

For. Pete's. Sake. People. Microsoft. Google. Anyone writing code.

This is a known issue with known solutions.


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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Twitterholic: Who are these people?
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
[URL] Corpus of American English
Corpus of American English

Brilliant app.

The Corpus of American English (not to be confused with the American National Corpus) is the first large corpus of contemporary American English. It is freely available online, and it is related to other large corpora that we have created.

The corpus contains more than 360 million words of text, including 20 million words each year from 1990-2007, and it is equally divided among spoken, fiction, popular magazines, newspapers, and academic texts (more information). The corpus will also be updated at least twice each year from this point on, and will therefore serve as a unique record of linguistic changes in American English.

The interface allows you to search for exact words or phrases, wildcards, lemmas, part of speech, or any combinations of these. You can search for surrounding words (collocates) within a ten-word window (e.g. all nouns somewhere near chain, all adjectives near woman, or all verbs near key).

The corpus also allows you to easily limit searches by frequency and compare the frequency of words, phrases, and grammatical constructions, in at least two main ways:

* By genre: comparisons between spoken, fiction, popular magazines, newspapers, and academic, or even between sub-genres (or domains), such as movie scripts, sports magazines, newspaper editorial, or scientific journals
* Over time: compare different years from 1990 to the present time

You can also easily carry out semantically-based queries of the corpus. For example, you can contrast and compare the collocates of two related words (little/small, democrats/republicans, men/women), to determine the difference in meaning or use between these words. You can find the frequency and distribution of synonyms for nearly 60,000 words and also compare their frequency in different registers, and also use these word lists as part of other queries. Finally, you can easily create your own lists of semantically-related words, and then use them directly as part of the query.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Twitter Saves Man From Egyptian Justice
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Callooh! Callay! Internet Resource for Writers rounds the Big One
Internet Resources - Writers Resources - Writing Links & Writers Links for Writers

And, turns out, the count didn't zero. Rather, added another digit.

I'm *still* going to swop in another free hit counter. Maybe Site Meter. I'm not too fond of how the current hit counter delivers data.

A MILLION HITS! I can't believe it.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008
101 Best Web Freebies
101 Best Web Freebies - BusinessWeek's take on the best free apps and such you can find on the Web.

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Friday, January 11, 2008
The image cannot be displayed, because it contains errors
The image cannot be displayed, because it contains errors

Seems Firefox was complaining because some of the .jpgs Duende sent -- which I was trying to add to the site -- were in CMYK (print) instead of RGB (screen display). Makes sense. Duende'd sent the photos used in prior years' brochures.

Turns out 'tis simple enough to pull the .jpg into Photoshop. Go to the Image pulldown menu IMAGE->MODE and save the JPG as RGB instead of CMYK.

And Bob's your uncle.

Would that most of the world's problems were so easily handled.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Interesting mashup showing San Francisco rental data: SFRentStats

And the nice thing? SFRentStats refuses advertising because it's just mashing up Craigslist data.

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Monday, October 01, 2007
Google Analytics
Having fun with Google Analytics.

I set up Google Analytics for Internet Resources for Writers the other day. Picked up my little bit of code from Google and added it to every page on the site.

I only have two days' worth of stats so far, but I've found out that 18% of my traffic comes from search engines, 32.5% comes from direct hits and the other 49.5% comes from links on other sites. Turns out of the 242 visits in the last two days, ninety of them came via stumbleupon. 37%!

I have a 60% bounce rate (meaning the visitor hit one page and left), which is sucky if you're trying to sell somebody something, but if someone wants a bit of information, finds it on the first page they look at and leaves, that's cool with me.

And if someone doesn't find what they're looking for (like the person who came via a search engine search for /dental office supplies free printable photos/), well, that's cool too. (I had to do that search to see if I really show up. I do! #4 on the returned hits!)

Other fun features of Google Analytics include a pretty map showing visitors' locations.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007 reprise
The garden Buddha morphed with "cartoon" special effect. I like too. Has a Japanese woodblock print feel to it.

Image Touched Up By

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New app: fx for your pix.

The garden Buddha morphed with "oil paint" special effect. Large brush. I like.

Image Touched Up By

[pikifx snitched from Sour Grapes' Google Reader items]

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Thursday, July 19, 2007
Websites as graphs

Pretty, eh? That's the blog in living color. I could swear I'd done this before, a year or more back, but I can't find it, if I did indeed do it, so I've done it again.

Aharef provides the applet. You provide the Web page you want him to graph. He 'xplains it all here and also shows some mega sites and how they look with the app:, &c.

Color code:
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags

Flickr has a collection of pics.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Added cloud tag
Added my cloud tag over in the righthand sidebar 'cause I think it's purty.

(Yes, I know that tag clouds have been called the new mullet, but I like having it there. Of course my blog-based cloud tag means that even your grandma has one and it might be time to take yours off your site.)

Most of the bookmarks I imported from Firefox to are still in the "needs to be looked at before they're added" stage but I decided 500+ were enough to make a decent tag cloud.

total links @ 3509 links (and counting).
"still need to be looked at": 2970+

Some of those links go back to April 1995, back when Yahoo! was just a wonderful collection of links on, back when I was thrilled to watch the cam pointed at the Trojan Room coffee pot at Cambridge.

Eventually almost all the links will be available on, but it'll take some time. I'm checking each link to see if it still works and still goes somewhere I care about, adding tags, &c. and so on.

What an exciting life I lead.

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Friday, June 29, 2007
LOLcat builder

For Mz UV 'cause she lurves LOLcats. Seen this?

LolCat Builder

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StumbleUpon - SalT's Web site reviews
StumbleUpon - SalT's StumbleUpon Web site reviews

Since I started with StumbleUpon umpty ump (March 17, 2004) years ago, I've rated 1777 sites and, must admit, sometimes spend months without checking in. These days I not only put links on my blog but also put links on Tumblr and links on and, sometimes, on StumbleUpon.

I'm not dutiful about my StumbleUpon duties.

Obviously. ...

Just came across starspirit, who has rated 124,289 sites.

Zounds. Even gmc has only rated 17962 but then he's been busy building SU into something eBay wanted to buy.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Plazes - Right Plaze, Right People, Right Time

Interesting app especially now. Everyone's weirded out about "them" knowing where we are and what we're up to. Sure! Use Plazes! Tell the world!

"You have no privacy. Get over it." as Scott McNealy famously said a few years back.

Check out the TechCrunch article from earlier this month -- Plazes CEO Busted By His Own Product -- for a sample of what's in store.

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Friday, June 15, 2007
MyWire Top Stories
MyWire Top Stories

I mentioned I think -- or maybe it was in a different space -- that I moved all my bookmarks into last week and I'm working my way through, updating, changing, deleting, deciding whether a given bookmark should be "public" or not ...

I click on old bookmarks. Sometimes they are dead as a doornail. Sometimes they shift you over to a new URL. Sometimes ...

Came across this one just now that had really morphed.

A while ago I was trying to decide whether to give up some magazine subscriptions and (truth tell) piles of old magazines -- archives of periodicals that I might look at once every three years and, instead, sign on AND PAY $4.95/mo to KeepMedia, which offered 150+ titles online.

We sympathize with the postal carrier who, not just for us but also for others, walks down 40+ stairs from the nearest street to reach the cross path that connects with our walking path. He walks down the path to our stoop and up 18+ steps to our door to deliver our mail and magazines. And back down again and up and down again and up ... as he walks down our walking path, delivering mail.

He walks another almost 100 steps down the steps to the next walking path to deliver another batch of mail.

Maybe, I thought, we could lighten his load.

I thought about it, do I want to give up my physical magazines, um. I thought about it, set it aside, thought about it. ...

Turns out good thing I didn't tie my wagon to that horse.

KeepMedia is now and a fine app may be, but it's not what KeepMedia promised.

Word to the wise. Those packrats amongst us worry about stuff like this ... give up your physical archives? Trust the Web? Trust the vendor not to change his business model?


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Badgers! Foxes! Rabbits!
Badgers! Foxes! Rabbits!

New tumbleblog for stashing interrrrresting stuff. Between (still processing thousands of bookmarked URLs) and tumblr and stumbleupon and twitter ... I'm getting all Web2.0'd out.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007
New avatar, of sorts
I've been playing around with a fake picture for twitter using the Face Transformer at St Andrews that I found over at Grapes2.0 the other day.

Decisions. Decisions. Should I use






Manga. For now. ...

[I really wanted the El Greco morph (View of Toledo has been a fave since I was about nine.) But the El Greco morph is only available for males and if I change my "sex" to male, the El Greco morph gives me an El Greco morph complete with nice Spanish facial hair.

Not really me. Alas.]

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Friday, June 01, 2007
Fiddling with Twitter
Fiddling with the Twitter app. (see right sidebar)

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Thursday, May 31, 2007
eBay Acquires StumbleUpon
eBay Acquires StumbleUpon

The $75 million cash acquisition gives eBay access to about 2.3 million people who have filled out profiles at StumbleUpon, founded in 2001 by three Canadian software engineers in Calgary.

... and the acquisition of my profile will provide eBay with what?

Let's hope the eBay folks don't mess up an excellent app.

The news from the StumbleUpon blog

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
[URL] popurls | popular urls to the latest web buzz
popurls | popular urls to the latest web buzz

Aggregate of W2.0 feeds like digg and reddit and boingboing. Someone called it a look at the hive mind. Probably a good analogy. Similar to and with more links than (which was inspired by popurls). Includes flickr links and

Looking for article ideas? This site gives you a look at what's poppin.

[Caution: Can be a HUGE time waster ...]

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007
What Should I Read Next?
What Should I Read Next?

Enter a book you like and the site will analyse our database of real readers'
favourite books (over 32,000 and growing) to suggest what you could read next.


Enter title and/or author

Enter title: The End of Mr. Y
[click] What Should I Read Next?

App comes back
Did you mean:
The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas

Click the title above if correct, or amend the details below

[click] title above


The Carpathians - Janet Frame See Amazon UK | US
My Life as Emperor - Su Tong See Amazon UK | US
Charades - Janette Turner Hospital See Amazon UK | US
The Pig Who Sang to the Moon - Jeffrey Masson See Amazon UK | US
The Gourmet Club: A Sextet - Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, Anthony Chambers, Paul McCarthy See Amazon UK | US
The Secret World of Og - Pierre Berton See Amazon UK | US
Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust - Charles Patterson See Amazon UK | US
Quicksand - Jun'ichiro Tanizaki See Amazon UK | US
Tales of Hoffmann - E. T. A Hoffmann See Amazon UK | US
The Collected Stories of Frank O'Connor - Frank O'Connor See Amazon UK | US

more results ...

Interesting app. And, yes, Scarlett Thomas' other books do not pop up in that first list of suggestions.

Register if you'd like to be part of this Web2.0 app. Site money stream seems to come from those Amazon click-throughs.

[caution: The response time can be a bit slow.]

[mentioned in a post from the Project Wombat list.]

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Sunday, May 13, 2007
Happy Mom's Day
from Google.

[I'd pop up the graphic here, but decided (copyright infringement-wise) to send folks over to Google to take a look there ... One gripe with iGoogle is that I don't get my Google graphics fix.]


Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
From the too-much-time-on-their-hands department: online Etch-A-Sketch
Online Etch-a-Sketch

Click screen to clear. Use arrow keys to control.

[Arleen wrote about this.]

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Google adds "themes" to your Google homepage
I like plain ol' vanilla Google. It works. It's simple. No fuss. But earlier today, I decided to just check out the various themes that Google has developed for its Google homepages and settled on "city."

Very nice. Mellow. The colors and accoutrements change with the time of day and weather. (You need to give them a ZIP for it to work properly.) Right now it's shades of purple and blue with stars and a crescent moon. Nice.

My one concern is that the Googlelogo is a single, set color.

What happens when it's George Orwell's bday and the Google logomeister comes up with a spiffy logo-for-the-day?

All that remains to be seen, but the cityscape is nice and I'm enjoying it.

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Monday, February 26, 2007
Not all Second Life $$ are made in Linden $$ and then converted ...
CBS announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership with The Electric Sheep Company as part of its plans to increase its presence on Second Life and other online virtual worlds.

Electric Sheep is a New York-based creator of virtual-world content and has worked with CBS (nyse: CBS - news - people ) to launch Second Life communities for Showtime's The L Word and for Star Trek, which is owned by CBS Paramount. The company also created a TV ad for the CBS sitcom Two And A Half Men that ran during the Super Bowl earlier this month. Electric Sheep's other clients include Viacom's (nyse: VIA - news - people ) MTV Networks, Time Warner's (nyse: TWX - news - people ) AOL and Major League Baseball.


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Saturday, January 27, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
GeoGreetings from the Hill

Click on image for full effect.

GeoGreetings creates custom online greeting cards using building images found with Google Maps. Jesse Vig, the cool app provider, is looking for help finding more buildings that look like letters.

Thanks! to Jesse Vig, cool app provider at GeoGreeting, and to Stacy of She Dreams In Digital for the headzup.


Friday, January 05, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Disabled the Snap Preview while I ponder ...
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
1-Click Answers ... sponsored links
Looked up struldbrug with my handy-dandy 1-Click Answers and got some entertaining sponsored links:

[struldbrug -- for those who don't know and really don't want to check right now -- is "The appellation given to the immortals in Gulliver's Travels who were incapable of dying but continued to exist in a state of miserable decrepitude, regarded as legally dead, and receiving a small pittance from the state -- hence in allusive uses." according to 1-Click Answers, which borrowed the definition from Michael A. Fischer's Worthless Word For The Day]

The links:

Cirugia Plastica
Cirugía Plástica en Argentina a precios bajos. Excelencia médica.

Low price plastic surgery. Yay!

Fotos De Descuidos
Buy Fotos De Descuidos on eBay Fotos De Descuidos for sale!

Photos of negligences? ?

Dr Jorge Vergara Rodgers
Tecnologia Dental Avanzada Odontología Láser Sin Dolor

I like dentists who are sin dolor.

8¢ Photos, No Minimum
Wholesale Professional Printing Lab Studio, Wedding, Poster, Ad Prints

pictures. OK.

Tienda de Diego Maradona
Tenemos jerseys, camisetas y otros productos de Diego Maradona.

I'm not quite sure why a struldbrug might be interested in a Diego Maradona jersey. I'd be more interested in piccies of certain hunky Argentine polo players.

Why are so many of the links en español?


Monday, January 01, 2007
Snap Image Search is pretty cool too.
Nifty widget: Snap Preview Anywhere
Snap Preview Anywhere is a nifty widget from

Want to see how it works? Hold your cursor over any hotlink on this page that doesn't reference a page on

Like this one or this one or even this one, which is where I espied the gizmo this morning.

Nifty. Keeno.

The thought behind it is that it gives your readers a glimpse at where an "away" link will take them allowing them to make a semi-informed choice as to whether that's where they'd be interested going.

Thanks, Halsted!


Saturday, December 30, 2006
[URL] Brilliant app: Montage-a-google
Brilliant app: Montage-a-google.

Montage-a-google is a simple web-based app that uses Google's image search to generate a large gridded montage of images based on keywords (search terms) entered by the user.

A click on any image (max 20 images, scattered with dups over a 9x12 grid) takes you to the source of the image.

The grid size can be fiddled with, as can other features using the "advanced" mode.

You'll need Flash player version 8 (or up) to run the app.

If you want to save your results, use [alt][print scrn] (if you use a PC -- don't talk to me about Mac stuff) to copy the image. Then pop the image into your photo app with ^V and clear the bits you don't want before printing.

You'll wind up with something like this [click image to enlarge]:

Not bad for a first try. I could've trimmed the edges better but I won't go back and fiddle some more because at some point conscientiousness veers into compulsiveness and we're not exactly creating lasting art here.

Google search for "bixby creek" "big sur"


Over 2.5m Montage-a-googles served.

Check out the photos tagged with "montage-a-google" on Flickr.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006
After folks started nattering about them a while back, I decided to join the crowd and added my "you are stardust" favicon here a week or so back.

Added a purple prose favicon to Internet Resources earlier today.

Wrote about favicons and such on the blog over there.

Some day I'll really need to rethink the blog layout for that site, but I'd abandoned that blog for almost two years and only recently started keeping it up-to-date again. Each time I edit it and pull up the blog it's like yowww! that was then, where is now?

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: views from the Hill

Bertold Brecht:   
Everything changes. You can make
A fresh start with your final breath.
But what has happened has happened. And the water
You once poured into the wine cannot be
Drained off again.

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