Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Here, look, please. When you are posting near midnight or need to backdate a post to put it under the right topic:
  1. Write your post in a text editor.
  2. Paste it into the Blogger posts window.
  3. Click the Post button.
  4. Click the [edit] link for the post.
  5. Click the Options button.
  6. Change the post time to before midnight or after 2:00 AM
  7. Click OK on the Options dialog to close it.
  8. Click Post.
  9. Click the orange Publish button on the middle of the page.
  10. View the published page to ensure that your post shows up in the correct position.
This accommodates a bug in Blogger in the way posts are ordered and a flaw in the user interface in that you can't edit a timestamp until after you've saved the post to the database (clicking the Post button).

Friday, August 23, 2002

Shawn, it was all true. And in that first paragraph, they're all unique pairs of shoes. I'm a victim of society.

Fred, you're tying your laces in a way that makes granny knots instead of square knots. When you make the first cross-over—the very first move, before it even looks like a bow—start with the opposite side than the one you've been using. I.e., if you go "right over left, and under," switch it to "left over right, and under." I made this change a few years ago, and I no longer have any problems with my shoes staying tied. Beyond that, the bow lays right now, too. It used to turn vertical. This is all moot, however, if you tie your shoes just wrong, the way Jon does. Irresponsible kindergarten classes, I say. My dad set me straight before that became too ingrained.

A poem! Yay, poems! Hee hee.

I keep trying to write something for "romance." I want to write a trashy romance novel scene, but it keeps running the risk of sounding like my fantasy (when it is, of course, supposed to be the readers' fantasy). And I figure this is probably a bad forum for airing my intimate fantasies, given the readership: My husband, our friends, the whole world, and my mom.

re: Clown Car Cell Phone

Every day I find something to make me smile for the rest of the day. This is my one for the day.

Damn magic ninja scientists. Indeed.

I am definitely going to have to try and work that into everyday conversation from now on.

The daughter of one of my colleagues DID go to clown college and is just finishing up a five year stint with Barnum & Bailey. She lives on the circus train in a room about the size of my desk. She is thinking of moving on to some other phase of her life now. In one funny incident, when her parents were in the audience with a friend from out-of-town, the friend's cell phone rang during the performance and it was Marnie (the clown). "You are supposed to be in the clown car. Where are you calling from?" "The clown car! Someone else dialed the phone for me and is holding it - I can't move enough to hold it myself."

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Fred said:

Personally, I've always sort of liked clowns, but whatever.

Me too. For a while, I contemplated trying to get into "clown college". I could juggle, tumble, and walk on stilts. I was a little too young, though (10?).

Fear of clowns makes a certain sense in that they have amplified predator features: Big eyes (The better to see you with.), big nose (The better to smell you with.), big mouth (The better to eat you with.), big feet and hands (The better to catch and eat you with.). Something in the back of our brains is wired to recognize these things as traits of a hunting species. The fact that they seek out and act among clusters of our young is even odder.

Let's face it. Clowns are wierd.

Jon, I've never really understood coulrophobia either, although I, too, have friends who claim to suffer from it. I'm reminded of something Roger Ebert said in his review of "Shakes the Clown", which, thanks to the internet, I can look up and then quote:
Like a lot of small children, I instinctively knew that clowns were not clowns, but adult males dressed up in a weird way for reasons I would rather not know anything about. They pretended they wanted to be my friends, and yet they hid themselves behind bizarre and frightening disguises. They didn't look like fun friends to me.
Personally, I've always sort of liked clowns, but whatever.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Hee hee. My spell-checker suggests "Elvis" for "Elvish."

Programmers following real-world instructions are funny.

I, too, have posted leper and convention stories.

Sharon, I think the ten monkeys, typewriters, minutes line is really cool. I don't remember the last pyRad I've seen. I just open blogger (and I'm already logged in, cutting my viewing chances in half) and click. There's no looking. I hardly ever read what the pyra kids are doing nowadays. So it's not your advertising. A lot of those hits were wasted on people like me.

I've gone back a day or two with Leper and Convention.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

You guys are SO creative. I love it!

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Something about being trapped in small metal boxes alone seems to be a theme for me this week. Oh wait, look, I'm in one.

Boy, I hope Dillo Con is good this weekend.

Y'know, I thought that didn't sound right. I misread the pyRad report as 0.99%, but it's really 0.099%. Not 1%, but 0.1%. I'm gonna stop thinking about it, lest the click-through rate dwindle down to an infinitessimal amount.

And then a late "Freeze" post. I seem to have gotten out of phase.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Hey, Ben. I found you in a picture. Do I get a prize? Is it a Flash CD? Please?

Back-dated a "Hello?" post. Just didn't want you to miss it.

Hey Sharon, chin up. 1% is a really good click through rate, especially given the ultra-low profile of the pyRads. Consider that 8 people is better than the average number of posts from our 10 writers on a given day. Also, those 8 writers are bloggers as well. If they like the blog and blog it in turn, the meme will spread. I'm curious to see if readership increases. Do you have access to site stats?

Sometimes too much data is depressing. Often, actually.

Signing up for Blogger Pro got me a free batch of pyRads, the little text ads that show up on the Blogger homepage, under the right-hand navigation. I got 8000 impressions. They started on 8/8. They are already expended. We got 8 clicks, giving us a 1% click-through rate. 1% is pretty good, for a web ad, but 8 clicks is just depressing.

Damn math.

The ad said:
600 seconds
10 monkeys. 10 typewriters. 10 minutes.

Monday, August 12, 2002

Quiet day, today. Fred posted a single word, so I jumped on it.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

My apologies to Sharon for the ear worm, but your husband did get that Wuzzles song stuck in my head all Thursday afternoon. I suppose this could be construed as payback. ;)

Although I've never read it and have no immediate plans to, I was aware of the Wally Lamb book before yesterday. I thought the topic itself was open-ended enough to allow people to write on whatever they wanted. Maybe I was wrong, I don't know. I certainly couldn't think of anywhere to start, and I did at least one Google search of my own.

Friday, August 09, 2002

My apologies to all for being so silent; it's been a rough week at work. & I'm on the road this afternoon to North Carolina; no internet access again 'til Monday. (Think I can survive??) Next week I have to be offline Thurs - Sunday ... I'm going through withdrawal already.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Ideas that stick with me:
Sending brains by UPS (I think they'd object. They're real sticklers about propellants.)
I thought the escaping jewel theives was going to be a trite lead-in. I was so delighted when it all went horribly awry. You don't see enough of that, going horribly awry, I don't think.
Saving up your minutes: Ha. I'm reminded of "The Tell-Tale Heart."
Mom captured the essence of Groundhog. Dad thinks you're weird. What else is new?
Lots of booming thunder is making me very nervous.

Today, I wrote two ten-minute pieces. Rather than overcrowd the page, I posted my second story here. If, of course, you're interested.

And, Jon...I don't know if I can forgive you for getting that Wuzzles song stuck in my head. I'd managed to block it from memory for all these years.

Remi: "I got confuseled."

I thought that only Wuzzles got confuseled.

Link Warning: It plays music. Loudly.

*blink blink* I can see why. The "whose topic" script runs in your browser on the fly. When Blogger publishes a page, it publishes the JavaScript, which dynamically figures out whose day it is when you view the page.

Am I clarifying or muddling? Here, view-source on the 600s page. That should help.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

What happened was that I saw that it said 'today: Sharon/tomorrow: Remi' and I thought that the script only updated when a post was made to the page, so I thought it was my day (i.e the day the last post had been made on was Sharon's day, and in order to make it roll over I had to make a post to get the script to roll over to say it was my day). I got confuseled.

I moved your topic to tomorrow, as a future post, Remi. It did make me wonder if maybe I was seeing different results for my "whose topic" script than others were.

Sorry for the attempted hi-jack, Sharon. It was late and I wasn't thinkin' straight . . .

I want to revise my first paragragh, to make one small addition:
I'd thought it was a joke. Y'know, like chocolate frogs and turtles and stuff, naming a food by what it looked liked rather than what it was. So when the waiter came around with his gleaming silver tray and satiny black eye-patch and proffered, "Glazed Eye?" I thought it was a joke, until I popped it into my mouth.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Note to self: writing over lunch has certain risks. Bleah.

Perhaps praise is gauche, but I thought that Dr. Martha's groundhog post was just delightful. Now, understand that I thoroughly enjoyed all of yesterday's posts - in fact, I can't think of a single post to 600 Seconds that I didn't like. It's just that her near-poetic description of the actions of a lowly groundhog clearly illustrates how wonderful the diversity of writers makes this project.
The fact that her husband is fighting a battle with groundhogs to keep them from chewing the wires of their home only serves to add an ironic humor to her story.

Monday, August 05, 2002

I'd probably call that an underdeveloped feature, or a UI flaw, rather than a bug, per se. You have to save a post to the database for it to have a timestamp to edit. The save function doesn't check the value of an edited timestamp on that first save.

*shrug* I suppose it is a bug. But I can recognize it and accommodate it, so it doesn't irritate me so much. The mis-ordered posts shows sloppy coding, and I can't work around it except to edit timestamps, so that irritates me.

Even more buggy, I discovered that you can't change the timestamp of a post when you post it the first time. My belated "coming home" I set to be on the correct date & to appear at the bottom of that day's list. Yet there it appeared, right up top.

'Sokay, Faith. One thing you are not is dumb. What you'd set up ought to have worked. I never got a response to my bug report. Sigh.

Ben, I edited your topic post so that it will show up on Tuesday.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Oh. Right. (Hangs head in supreme ditz-moment.)

Living on the east coast makes one somehow a time-zone supremecist. Everything seems to be relative to east-coast time, so it never occurs to me to think about time zones unless I am travelling.

Hopefully, moving to Oregon will give me some sense of perspective!!

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Future posts work. It's the same issue that has been plaguing us all along: Posts are ordered by Pacific time, despite the settings in the blog, so Faith's post appears on the wrong day. If the timestamp had been edited to be after 2 am, it would have shown up in the right place.

Did a search on Google for, "600 seconds." Our blog is at the top of the list. Pretty keen.

Josh -- thanks for posting my topic. Sharon, I think we can safely say that Future Posts don't work. It shows up in the Blogger editor as having been posted & published, yet does not appear on the published page anywhere!

Sorry. I was desperate to write something on here before I went to spend ten hours at work dealing with Ethan Hawke (which, BTW, wasn't all bad). I didn't mean to step on toes. I don't really know what the protocols are.

Friday, August 02, 2002

Many things to say today:

First, an FYI to all -- I've tried this "future post" thing for Saturday's topic; I'll be at a company picnic. (Blech.) In any case, if someone were to publish after 12:15 am I'd be much obliged.

Second, an announcement: my lizard Norbert (the one which actually was stalking my strawberries) has passed on. May he rest in Peace. Or Freshkills. Or where-ever they're dumping NYC garbage these days.

Finally, a brief taste of Friday whine: I really want my home-coming to be like Dr. Martha's.... Just keep chanting, "Portland. Spring. Portland. Spring." (Sounds like bottled water... ??)

Dave, I agree. I suggest creating a topic and back-dating it to appear first on the page. ('Course, 11:59:44 is kinda close, eh?)

And the damn archives aren't working again. I grant a lot of leeway to free applications, but now I'm paying. Grrrr.

Dave's right. When I joined, I was told I had until noon CST to suggest a topic.

Anarchy!

Re: hijacking

I thought we had until noon central time to suggest a topic. Am I mistaken?

Thursday, August 01, 2002

re: Text Adventures

I'm envious. I wish I'd thought of it. What a fun way to write a 10-minutes story.

Wow, a Hercule Poirot story—with dialects! I am so impressed.

Either that, Mom, or a nice friendly bat. Me? I'm getting a bat.

I didn't need a spoiler warning for my post today, did I?

If I ruined Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, or "The Book of Job" for anyone, I'm very sorry.