Emailing a weblogger

There are few things more irritating then to always get your spam email, but to not get other email you’re expecting; you don’t know if there’s something wrong with your email system, the other person’s email system, or they’re just too busy to respond.

My email program put an email from one person I had expected a response from last week into the junk email folder, for no reason I can understand. I didn’t discover it until tonight when I was looking for another email from another person in response to a question. Which I didn’t find.

If I have learned one thing in my 2+ years of weblogging – if you want to get a response from a weblogger, ask the question in their comments. Otherwise, between spam filters and erratic email systems, as well as limited weblogger time and attention, you might as well send paper planes into the void for all the response you’ll get.

I hope I never get so busy, or so rude, that I don’t respond to emails, even if it’s only to acknowledge that I’ve received them. If you don’t hear from me, always assume the email is lost and resend it.


One of those days?

Have you ever had one of those days?

One of those days when you’re faced with trying to get a whole bunch of moving parts working together such as on a web server, and there’s a hundred million possible combinations of Things you Can Do, but only one works?

And have you had one of those days when all combinations of Things don’t seem to work and you find yourself getting really angry at, in order:

  • The ISP
  • The creators of each of the technologies
  • Tim Berners-Lee for starting all of this
  • Edison for inventing electricity
  • Galileo for insisting the world revolves around the sun, thus opening the door to science, leading to an increased interest in technology
  • Your parents for having you
  • President Bush, because you’re always angry at President Bush

Have you ever had one of those days when you realize that the solution is doing this little tweak here, and that tiny one there, all nicely documented in the installation and configuration instructions – which you decided NOT to read, and which would have only taken about an hour and you’ve spent probably three days doing it the hard way?

Have you had one of those days when you realize this and you spend the next hour BASHING YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL for being so stupid?

I’m not saying I’ve had one of those days. Just asking if you have had one of those days.

Excuse me, but I have a headache. I’m going to bed now. No, no! I know the way. Thank you.


Kick butt, Ann

Chris Locke dropped a note about Ann Craig having surgery today for melanoma.

I am glad that Chris make this publication. There was rumors that Ann was laid up because she was carrying Chris’ babies – all eight of them – from a previous liason. However, she wrote me in an email that she never really has met Chris Locke – it was a figment of his imagination after he’d sucked down a really bad cup o’ joe at Starbucks.

Really, Chris has never gone out with any blonde – they were all in his imagination. There was a red head that took pity on him and went out with him once; we don’t know how the date went because she hasn’t talked since and when you mention Chris’ name she screams and runs from the room.

Seriously, if you can’t tell from this get well message that Ann has the most wonderful, whacky sense of humor, then you need only look at this picture at Gary’s.

Laughter is the best medicine, and here’s wishing Ann loads of it. Best wishes, Ann, and hope you’re back up and running quickly.


For Poets web site

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I just finished an article for O’Reilly in support of the RDF book rollout. It’s a bit longish so I’m expecting edits.

In the meantime, I want to get my domain,, up and running. I’ll move my first entry, Internet for Poets: DNS – what’s in a name?, and the second Echo for Poets to the new site once it’s finished.

The site is going to be broken into the following categories:

I owe at least the first of a set of articles on RDF For Poets, to Professor Duemer who started me thinking of a ‘…for poets’ line of articles and essays. Perhaps I’ll combine it with AKMA’s Impractical RDF, which truly awakened my evil twin. I could have fun with this.

Two other essays I’ve been working on are:

Linux for Poets: The Ten Commands of Unix
Internet for Poets: Permalink like you mean it

The first article covers 10 Unix facts/commands that every person hosted in a Unix environment should know. With these, they can effectively manage their own pages and directories. Yes, just these ten things.

The latter article on permalinks I started when I read Joi Ito’s discussion about the permalink issue when moving weblogs about in a hosted environment and between weblogging tools. Don Park also covered this as did Matt and Marc Cantor. There’s been discussion about using as a way of working around this issue, which I think is about the worst idea I’ve heard yet. My apologies for my bluntness, but I have to call them as I see them.

Before the N/Echo geeks jump on this for the pure geek approach that this is, I need to get this article written to discuss why it’s a Bad Idea, and to provide alternative approaches. First, though, I need the web site.

I’m thinking of using a different weblogging tool for the site, perhaps a PHP-based one such as pMachine or bBlog. The technology I can work through but my problem is design – I can’t think of a good design for the site. Chances are I’ll put something quick together than then refine it over time – that’s the best way to do web site design. I’d rather get the site up and running and post my three inaugural essays, than delay their publication working on the pretty pretty.

One thing the new site won’t have is any connection in any way to the “For Dummies” books, which I’ve always thought was an appalling name for a series of books; and I’m not that fond of yellow and black, which reminds me of a big, fat bumblebee. Besides, even a hint of this association can cause trouble, as qB recently highlighted.

No, the For Poets essays assume that the readers are intelligent, creative people who want to learn more about technology, but don’t want to be overwhelmed by the minutiae, and don’t want to be bored. Not sure how successful I’ll be, but I’m having fun with it.

As for the site design, perhaps I should run a contest – an autographed copy of Practical RDF for anyone who can help me come up with a great design. I’ll even inscribe it with a poem. No, not one of my own – I want to attract help, not scare it away.