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What word will be spoken that will give meaning to all this?

José Saramago

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Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

🦋 Tense

Does anybody remember a Pogo strip in which Albert and Churchy and Howland were arguing about verb forms, coming up with ever sillier strings of participles to express a present continuous action? I was thinking of that just now.

posted morning of November 21st, 2007: Respond

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

🦋 Filtering out page reads

You get a lot of stuff in your web server log file that does not have to do with actual human reads of your site. I wrote a script that I think shows all the human page views in an Apache log file. It relies on that browsers get css stylesheets, while robots generally don't. (It will miss humans using Lynx; it could easily be tweaked to fix that enough. Also, I have seen Yahoo getting css files; you can fix that by putting "Slurp" in the list of files you're not interested in.)

grep  "blog.css" $logfile  | // get all reads 
                                of blog.css
        awk '{print $1;}' |  // extract ip address
        sort | uniq |        // only show each ip once
        grep -f - $logfile | // now pass that list 
                                of ip's back to grep
        grep " 200 " |       // only show successful reads
        egrep -v (any files you're not interested in)

I believe you could also use "favicon.ico" instead of your css file, but this is less reliable -- I don't know how often browsers request favicon for sites they have already visited. Or you could use the filename of a graphic included on one of your pages and hosted on your site, I think this would work reasonably well.

posted evening of November 20th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about The site

Monday, November 19th, 2007

🦋 First snow

It will not stick, but it made for some exceptionally pretty trees this morning. And a fun walk to the school-bus stop, with Pixie charging around wherever there was a little film of snow on top of the grass. The kids waiting for the bus were equally intrigued.

posted morning of November 19th, 2007: Respond

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

🦋 Old Books

From Heather, commenting at Art of the Spirit, comes this fine link: Turning the Pages is an online exhibit of manuscripts from the British Library's collection. Elsewhere you can see Historiæ Animalium, an early work of taxonomy with lots of pretty pictures.

posted evening of November 18th, 2007: Respond

🦋 Teddy Bear in a Suitcase

Ellen's blog is online! She'll be writing about travelling with children, and how that can enhance and be enhanced by children's literature. I'm managing her blog's page layout and I don't really understand Blogger's interface too well, so any suggestions you have to make, please direct them my way. Here it is: Teddy Bear in a Suitcase. If you have a blog and feel like linking to her, it would be most appreciated.

posted afternoon of November 18th, 2007: 2 responses

Off to go help Ellen set up her blog -- she has been planning one for a couple of weeks now, writing some posts and stuff. We are going to start out on Blogspot.

posted afternoon of November 18th, 2007: Respond

It has happened to all of us: one day, one ordinary day when we imagine we're making our routine rounds in the world with ticket stubs and tobacco shreds in our pockets, our heads full of news items, traffic noise, troublesome monologues, we suddenly realize we are already someplace else, that we are not actually where our feet have taken us.
        -- The New Life

My reaction to this line is sort of characteristic of how I've been reading The New Life -- I'm reading along sort of lacksadaisically, thinking about different things without focus,* and then I stumble on something like this that just blows me away.

What I take away from this reading may be a disjointed collection of beautiful quotes.

*I'm trying to reconcile this with my reaction to the opening passage and have not quite figured out how to yet... The whole opening couple of pages was a moment of genius but I haven't quite figured out how to read the book as a whole yet.

posted afternoon of November 18th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about The New Life

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

🦋 Ooh, nice!

The latest mix tape from the Apostropher is online! Good stuff. And once again, totally new territory for me.

posted evening of November 17th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Mix tapes

🦋 Lost time is not found again

Janis gave me a copy of Before the Flood a while ago and I just recently spent some time really listening to it; and I gotta say I think it is not such a great album. That surprised me because I've been listening more and more to The Band lately and really loving their sound, and especially loving The Basement Tapes -- so I was expecting and hoping for that kind of sound. Instead this record sounds like weak Dylan. Guess they couldn't get it back together.

posted evening of November 17th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Music

Tonight, Sylvia started to pick up on the class thing in Harriet the Spy -- first noticing that Ole Golly is not Harriet's parent, and asking me to explain about nannies; then when Harriet was talking to their cook Sylvia said "They're rich, right?" And that came up again when one of Harriet's classmates was dropped off by a limosine. -- It seems like it's a pretty obviously major feature of the book, and kudos to Sylvia for picking up on it, but I'm wondering a little why my memory of the book would include none of this -- it's all just a fun story of Harriet running around spying on people and then having some trouble when she gets discovered. Was I dense? Hmm...

posted evening of November 17th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Sylvia

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