netWert Ideapad

July 2002

Just like buffalo wings
July 31, 2002 +
Irresistible meme: Is my Blog HOT or NOT?

July 30, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
Once engaged, one's home life quickly adopts a new set of rules and regulations. The switch is enjoyable, but some of the changes do come as a surprise.
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Weblog catch-up
July 29, 2002 +
Note to readers: I update this page just about every business day. The engagement notice last week was a (happy and fun) anomaly. I've been saving up bookmarks in the interim. Click away.

News: iVillage To Eliminate Pop-Up Advertising. "This move was based on an iVillage/Vividence survey showing that 92.5% of iVillage women found pop-up advertising to be the most frustrating feature of the Web."

Exposition: I Remember Patty in The Morning News. "Pattyís mother was an abrasive woman, the kind of person who jingled into a room with too much jewelry and not enough taste."

Trivia: Origins of band names. "According to Paul Stanley, Kiss was a momentary inspiration that sounded dangerous and sexy at the same time. Kiss denies the silly fundamentalist rumor that the name stands for 'Knights In Satan's Service'."

Fun: How to swear in German. "Hau ab, Du Pfeife!"

More tomorrow.

Happily ever after
July 23, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
I'm engaged!
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July 17, 2002 +
The TiVo of stereos. Store music as you listen to it, including LPs and radio broadcasts. I want. (via Powazek)

Compliant code and
July 16, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right
At, compliance is in the works. Adrian Holovathy discusses proper code use and makes me look good in the process. (No promises yet on's HTML, but we're working on it.)

Another book review
July 16, 2002 +
"Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself" gets a thumbs up from "This book is extremely important for project managers, as well as designers who are looking for some guidance before beginning a large project."

Tap, tap, tap
July 15, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right
Yahoo is now going to integrate ever-more-intrusive (read annoying) ads in an attempt to increase ad revenue and effectiveness.

Note to Yahoo: I use your Weather service because is too full of intrusive ads. As your services get more obnoxious, I may well migrate away from them as well. (And I sincerely hope I don't.)

[See also: A quiet, and sad, realignment, July 3, 2002]

Bachelor party weekend do's and don'ts
July 15, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
Do plan on spending money indiscriminately and wondering where it all went.

Don't schedule a tee time for golf before noon and expect to make it on time.

Do mix and mingle friends, because they will have fun as a unit.

Don't order $4.25 platters of escargot. (Some of your tripmates may disagree with you, but it's a personal decision.)

Do coordinate travel so that most of the party is flying and driving at the same time.

Don't go to South Carolina in July.

Do eat, drink, and be merry, because it's hard not to have a good time. Congratulations, Steve!

Revenue report
July 12, 2002 +
OJR: News Sites Hustle for Profitability. "Most news sites are going with the conventional wisdom: Users won't pay to see your site; you have to find other ways to make money."

Note: avoid swearing in email
July 12, 2002 +
David Strom reports that an increasing percentage of email is being filtered—often without the recipient's knowledge. More and more frequently, harmless email is being branded as spam due to the inclusion of words that the filters brand as inappropriate. Quoted in the article: "In short, we're starting to see signs that email, often hailed as the Internet's 'killer app,' is in danger of becoming an unreliable, arbitrarily censored medium - and there's very little we can do about it." via WebWord

Sounds familiar
July 12, 2002 +

More on baseball and crying wolf
July 11, 2002 +
Good thread at Sportsfilter dealing with major league baseball's contention that some teams won't be able to make payroll this summer. In it I analyze how new revenue-friendly ballparks do not correlate with the team's success or recurrent fan interest.

Meanwhile, baseball executives are busy telling lies to the media that their own statistics refute. Then they wonder why people don't believe the spin.

Earth to Selig and Fehr: Unless you start paying attention, you won't have any payroll to worry about, once the strike/lockout kicks in and the fans lose interest.

At least I'm young
July 11, 2002 +
I've had a hunch for a while now that stock prices had been twice or three times as expensive as they should be, even after the dotcom bubble. Unfortunately, the markets are now agreeing with me, and stocks are declining like Michael Jackson's album sales. I now call the big index the Dow(n) Jones, and I'm just holding out hope we don't end up in a decade without growth.

National past-its-prime?
July 10, 2002 +
Major League Baseball voluntarily ended a game in a tie last night.

That maneuver is such an amazingly appropriate symbol of everything wrong with baseball that it's hard to fathom how it came off so smoothly.

I'm going to compile a list here of the best editorial screeds telling baseball what the players and owners need, but refuse, to hear about the state of its sport:

~ Feeling cheated? Get used to it, Jim Caple,

~ Baseball's All-Stall Break (mentioned here yesterday), Dave Anderson, The New York Times

~ The Strike That Will Kill Baseball, Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post

Know another one? Send it along.

July 9, 2002 +
Nice review of the book spotted today. "Reading each chapter," writes the reviewer, "I felt like a co-worker looking over the shoulder of designers wrestling with classic web interface questions."

Audience schmaudience
July 9, 2002 +
Labels to Net radio: die now. Because the truth is that the music industry makes more money off the generic fan than the aficionado.

Wise small- and mid-size labels should independently eschew the new fees, returning them to broadcasters and encouraging their music is played online. One can only hope.

Hard to be a fan
July 9, 2002 +
"Baseball has succeeded in doing what no sport should ever do: taking the fun out of it." Dave Anderson nails baseball with his sadly accurate column in today's Times.

Designing the iPod
July 8, 2002 +
DesignChain magazine: Inside the Apple iPod Design Triumph. Interesting to note that Apple went form-first, figuring out the mechanics after determining the necessary aesthetic.

Hey, editor! Over here!
July 8, 2002 +
The Economist writes about weblogs this week. Alas, no mention of their weblogging design director. *clearing throat*

For the record
July 8, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
I've said it before and I'll say it again: My mother makes the hands-down flat-out no-question best chocolate chip cookies the world has ever known.

I'd offer samples to everyone but I eat them too fast. Trust me on this, though.

I know her secret, too, and I'm not telling.

My addiction
July 3, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
I tapped into rock critic Robert Christgau's Web site this morning and promptly immersed myself in a wealth of music opinion.

This site is a discerning music fan's nirvana: more than 11,000 reviews, all of them short, many of them cranky, some admitting to an artist's talent and charm, but not without a hint of surprise. Taken as a unit, they expose Christgau in full: this is a man who's listened to far too much music and become jaded by his own abundance, yet he eagerly awaits the next time the music captivates him. Quietly, I long for his aural excess.

I read a handful of reviews and gleefully propelled myself into his space. Now I am drowning in the delight of my own internal jukebox, replaying my favorite songs in my head, while jumping from artist to artist on Christgau's site, looking for the moments where his opinions match mine and we have fallen in love with the same album.

I am reminded of the true joy of music criticism: In the past tense, it serves as a stamp of approval, a chance to validate the odd purchases and personal pleasures. I've never gotten my friends to bebop along with Taj Mahal's "Cakewalk into Town," but when a critic writes exactly what I feel, I can say, Yeah, Christgau, man, you get it. For a music fan's ultimate, unspoken yearning, beyond the pleasures of the music itself, is the affirmation of smart selection.

A quiet, and sad, realignment
July 3, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right
Yahoo's new home page design represents a fundamental shift in focus: The Web directory is no longer the main reason to visit. And this is troublesome.
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For the curious
July 2, 2002 +
The New Scientist's The Last Word is The Straight Dope without any cheekiness. The subjects they cover are fascinating: How does ironing work? Are busy restaurants so loud that they're bad for your health? Why is yawning contagious?

What's scary is how many of the topics are already familiar to me. My taste for minutiae will never cease.

Hi, doggie!
July 2, 2002 +
The Daily Oliver. For those of us who can't get enough adorable puppy pictures.

Channel your inner Steinbrenner!
July 1, 2002 +
There's a professional hockey team for sale. On eBay.

Count me in
July 1, 2002 +
Bring the Olympic Games to New York in 2012! The plans and infrastructure enhancements—to be funded without tax dollars—have little downside. I enjoyed examining the X Map (included as a poster-size ad insert in today's New York Times) on my morning commute. If the project got approved, it would be mass transit geek heaven.

A joke
July 1, 2002 +
"My dear," said the honeydew to his lover, "you are a peach. Will you marry me?"

"Oh, yes," she replied, "but we cantaloupe."

I wish it still fit her
July 1, 2002 +
Hey, Amy: 8-ball.

June 2002




Copyright © 2002 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.