Archive for January, 2003


Gone for a couple days.

I’m up at Lake Superior College for the next couple days, doing web accessibility training for their faculty, so will be incommunicado.

I’m looking forward to it, should be fun. (Especially after the bureaucratic hell it took to arrange my involvement. But that’s a story for another day.)


Moved to XHTML Transitional

I’ve switched the DOCTYPE of these pages to XHTML 1.0 Transitional, even though I will continue to “code” to Strict. Why? Because Dean Burge makes sense: the XHTML media types summary from the W3C suggests that XHTML 1.0 Strict should not be sent as text/html. Until user agents can consistently support application/xhtml+xml (yes, I’m looking at you, Internet Explorer), I’m treating the markup as Transitional and sticking with text/html.

I thought about serving up Strict to user agents that claim support for application/xhtml+xml. Paul went that route a while back, before he went off the deep end and moved to HTML (albeit for sound reasons). It just doesn’t seem worth the trouble, though, especially since I’m not doing anything very XML-like with the XHTML at this point. Until I do, I’m not entirely comfortable calling it Strict. Although one could claim that technically it is, it’s the spirit of the matter that sways me.


Paul’s back.

Mr. Paul Sowden is writing on his web site again. Very glad to see you, Paul.


Be careful what you wear.

Kiara was at big band practice, where she had of course broken out photos of the boy. One guy peered closely at a picture. “That’s his first bath,” Kiara offered helpfully.

“Yeah…” He squinted at the picture for a while longer. “Is Sam a programmer?”

When I heard this, I was dying to see what picture had led him to this conclusion. I didn’t think I had a Perl shirt on in any of them. Maybe an Apple shirt? Nah, that’d just peg me as a Mac user. Maybe that MySQL shirt…that would still be weird, though, why would he assume programmer?

Then I found it.

If this were TV, here’s where the camera would quickly back off to the house, then the city, then the country, then the planet, all while my screams echoed through the galaxy.

In the photo, I am wearing a Visual Basic .NET t-shirt.

Go ahead, Matt, chortle.

Why would I wear such a thing? Two words: free clothes. And I’m not the language bigot you might make me out to be.

It’s really funny the reactions I get to the shirt when I work up the courage to wear it in public. No one’s actually come up to me and tried to start a conversation, as has happened when I’ve worn Perl gear or an Apple shirt, but they do stare. Aghast, I assume. ;-)


Matrix trailer

Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions Superbowl trailer.

Excellent. This is what I get for not watching the game. (via Hack the Planet)


Dark City weenie.

There are two movies that Kiara and I absolutely loved but it seems no one else ever actually watched: Dark City and Gattaca. No more. Wil Wheaton is a self-described Dark City weenie.


All Things

Ooh, guess what just made it to my wishlist: All Creatures Great and Small on DVD. Series 1 and Series 2 are out, it looks like Series 3 will be available before long.

I love this show. When Kiara was in Sweden for Christmas a couple years ago, my evenings consisted of pouring myself a glass of 20-year tawny port, dimming the lights, and watching episodes from the first season. It runs at such a completely different pace from anything else I’ve ever seen. If ever you find you need to slow down your life, All Creatures is for you. It might take some getting used to, especially if you’ve only been exposed to the frenetic whirlwind that is modern television, but take your time, kick back, and let yourself go. It is absolutely marvelous.

No, I never read the books. Probably should. They don’t have Peter Davison, though.

And did you know that there’s a BBC America Shop? Me neither.



It’s been cold here in Minnesota the last few days. Really cold, refreshingly cold. The kind of cold when I can stand at the bus stop feeling smugly, snugly warm in my thermal underwear and multiple layers, laughing at the wind as it fails to whistle through my windblocking polarfleece scarf. Hah!

And now finally, after the cold lets up a bit and it’s climbed above zero, we’re getting snow. I cannot tell you how good it feels to shovel again. Seriously. Mostly, though, I love the crunch under my feet. I love the quiet hush of snow falling at night. I love that maybe, finally, Kiara can go skiing.

It can’t last. We’ve been teased like this before this winter, getting a similar dusting right before Christmas. It disappeared shortly after my sister and family left town, back to Indiana…where they promptly got more snow than we’ve seen all year.

Not that I’m bitter, de gozaimasu.

No, I have little hope that this snow’s going to last. I’m gonna go walk the dog.


Java, Apache, and Excel

Two articles on the same day about producing Excel spreadsheets using the Apache POI project, APIs for manipulating Microsoft document formats with Java:

I keep having to create Excel spreadsheets on the fly. I do it with Perl, of course, but POI is intriguing. One of the reasons that I’m getting back into Java is all the cool Apache projects that use Java.


All is lost.

Frodo has failed.

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