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Jeremy's journal

If there is a scheme,
perhaps this too is in the scheme,

Charles Reznikoff


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Wednesday, April 30th, 2003

Best Breakfast

About a month ago I ate breakfast at Cheyenne Diner, on 9th Ave. and 33rd in midtown Manhattan. It was excellent -- perfect homefries, perfect sunny-side-up eggs, near-perfect corned beef hash. I hesitated though, to trumpet its virtues based on a single excellent meal... but this morning I went back and it lived up to my expectations. Well, fell short in one regard -- the homefries this time were only very good. But the eggs! This time I forgot to specify sunny-side-up as I normally do and ordered fried eggs; they came over easy as they generally do by default in this part of the country. And these were the best over easy fried eggs I have ever eaten -- ever. This is the best breakfast I know of in Manhattan. I am going to be recommending it to anyone who asks.

A note about the corned beef hash -- it is a little peculiar. I like it a lot but it is different from most, kind of goopy or something, I'm not sure how to describe it besides by saying it has the approximate consistency of refried beans -- which is an unusual consistency for corned beef hash.

posted afternoon of April 30th, 2003: Respond
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Tuesday, April 29th, 2003

Useless Information

With regards to my previous post, I want to flesh out the idea of limiting information content in order to increase bandwidth. Actually -- well I guess its accurate to say "I want to flesh out" this concept -- but not sure it is currently within my ability to do so. This must be an existing meme though -- if you have any recommendations for reading on this subject, please contact me.

posted afternoon of April 29th, 2003: Respond
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New Wheels

Ta-da! Jeremy and Ellen join the ranks of the four-doored! Tomorrow evening I am picking up our new car, a Pontiac Vibe; described by Western Driver as a crossover combining aspects of station wagon, hatchback, and sport wagon. It is a pleasant car, and inexpensive. It will be easier to get Sylvia in and out because of the four doors, and useful for hauling lumber -- currently I have to chop everything up into 4 or 5-foot lengths before I put it in the car.

Thanks to Ellen's father, Lou Kahaner, for helping us out with the legwork on this -- Lou found us the car dealer and negotiated the price we got, and made sure they didn't give us any grief.

posted afternoon of April 29th, 2003: Respond
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Motivations

So why did I create this journal? The reasons are severalfold. I've been pretty fascinated by the blogging phenomenon since last summer, when I discovered a couple of the sites I've been reading regularly since -- Calpundit, Talking Points Memo, and Body and Soul are perhaps the "big three" for me -- and have been wondering if I could sustain such a steady level of posting and keep it interesting, and how it would sound if I did.

I started my first "web log" before I knew that term, back in 1999 with the READIN book diary; but page generation was manual, not automated, and maintaining the site was a hassle, and I never really got far with it. Although, take a look at the page for Faulkner's The Hamlet to get an idea of where I wanted to go with it.

Once I found out about ASP it seemed like the perfect fit -- I just had to learn how to code automatically generated journal pages and good things would come of it. Two things I wanted to learn to do formatting-wise; expressing dates and times in human terms, and displaying links in a hierarchical format. All the m/d/yyyy dates and hh:mm:ss times you see on web pages don't do it for me. They are over-determined and difficult to read. I wanted to express recent dates as "Yesterday", "Last Sunday", and posting times as just "morning", "evening", etc. I think I have come up with a pretty coherent way of doing this! And the hierarchical links, well, take a look at the left hand side of this page, I think they are good.

Update: Thinking about the two formatting goals above, I realize they are both concerned with limiting the amount of information presented in order to maximize the amound of information communicated. Funny... And the archiving system I have vaguely in mind could be thought of along the same lines too.

posted morning of April 29th, 2003: Respond
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Monday, April 28th, 2003

Ye Olde...

In the comments to this post, LanguageHat advises me on the origin of "Ye Olde..." in kitschy business names. He says "Y" is a misreading of the old English character Thorn, "þ" [this is ASCII 0xDE, which represents Thorn in most of the fonts I use -- if you're having trouble seeing it, try switching your display font to Courier New or Times New Roman]. Something I had never really thought about but way cool, and it makes good sense too.

posted evening of April 28th, 2003: Respond
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House work

I put up a hook for the garden hose in our front yard today, and Sylvia helped out, assiduously. [? I wasn't sure what that meant but it somehow suggested itself as the appropriate adverb. Looked it up just now in the dictionary and whaddya know, it fits pretty well. I'll let it stand.] Her description of the activity was, "We're doing shoe rack!"

It is up and looks good, though I made a bit of a mistake in the positioning of it. It has two screw holes that are on a vertical axis, and two more that are on a horizontal axis collinear with the lower of the first two; when I was positioning it I was only looking at the lower three holes, didn't realize there was another one, and I put it in a place where that top hole is not near any wood. Oh well -- the three screws should do a fine job of holding it up.

posted evening of April 28th, 2003: Respond
➳ More posts about Shoe rack

I should note with regards to my earlier post dissing the Clifford books, that Sylvia thinks they are the bee's knees. She has memorized enough of the two we own ("Clifford's Show-and-Tell" and "Clifford's First Autumn") to be able to do a pretty good job of reading them out loud. A common scene at bedtime story time is, she will give me a book ("Green Eggs and Ham" is currently quite popular) and say "You read that", then take a Clifford book and say "I read that." And lo and behold, she reads!

After a few pages she will get distracted and decide to trade books; we generally trade back and forth a few times before either of us gets to the end of our book, then it's time for bed.

posted afternoon of April 28th, 2003: Respond
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Blog Progress

This morning I put in date formatting -- it still needs more testing but all in all seems to work pretty well. Places I want to go in the near future: Archives, subject filter, view by date. Long-term goals: comments!

posted afternoon of April 28th, 2003: Respond
➳ More posts about Programming Projects

Sunday, April 27th, 2003

Success!

Well my last glue-up involving mortise and tenon joints (Coleman's desk) was an ignominious affair to say the best of it -- suffice to say it involved a lot of rage on my part, enough to frighten Ellen and Sylvia, and all to no avail (so to speak) -- the glue up was not successful and resulted in some yucky joinery. To contrast with today's endeavor, which came off mostly without a hitch -- and looks fine, better indeed than I had expected: this time I did repeated dry runs and corrected problems, last time not so much; and last time I was expecting my joinery to look "professional", this time my expectations were a good deal lower.

In short, I have gotten better at joinery, and have developed a more realistic assessment of my abilities. Nice combination!

At 7 this morning I asked Ellen for 2 hours to work on the shoe rack, she said ok, see you at 9; and I went downstairs. First thing I noticed was oh shoot, I haven't joined the back of the case like I had been meaning to -- this may take a bit more than 2 hours -- and I started in on that (pretty simple) joinery. This basically meant marking and drilling 8 holes, and smooth planing 2 boards.

While I was working on this, Ellen and Sylvia came down, Ellen to do some ironing and Sylvia to watch everything that was going on. "What you doing, da-da?" So I took a little time out to tell her about the project, and she watched me drilling holes for a little while. And watched me knock apart the dry fitted rack. It was during this knock-down that I made my last adjustment, filing a bit off the side of a too-tight tenon. During this process I arranged all the pieces in the correct orientation, so I would not have to turn them around too much while gluing. Then I set up my gluing area -- pot full of Elmer's white PVA glue, and a wet flux brush; and went to work!

And voila, everything flowed very smoothly. I was a bit nervous about the fact that I had not done a dry fit of the rear joinery -- but it was not a problem. Everything hammered together quite cleanly. I at first was not going to clamp it because the friction of the joints was enough to hold everything in place; but then I realized some strategically placed clamps would get rid of some gaps between tenon shoulder and stile. So I did that; I swept up the shop; and I came upstairs and looked at the clock. 9:00!

Well this project has taken me approximately 3 times as long as any previous one. I think in the end, the time was put to pretty good use -- I have learned a lot and I think gotten more patient as well. Next things on my list of stuff are a banquette for our kitchen; a sandbox for Sylvia; and some fixtures for my shop.

posted morning of April 27th, 2003: Respond
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Saturday, April 26th, 2003

Hopscotch

What a funny movie! A real nice mix of "suspense" -- set-ups which managed to be simultaneously ludicrous and suspenseful -- and comic deflation of the suspense.

posted evening of April 26th, 2003: Respond
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