netWert Ideapad

August 2002

August 30, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
I nailed it.

Furniture sale
August 29, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
Now that I cohabitate, I've got me some furniture to sell! Details inside.
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There's even a cow 3:-O
August 28, 2002 +
Why are you still using AIM? The newest Windows release of Yahoo Messenger has 60 different smileys. Express yourself with animated emoticons! One wonders how will AOL keep up with this fierce pace of innovation.

Just one
August 28, 2002 +
I am not a fan of financial shilling on a personal Web site. I don't have a PayPal donation link or an Amazon tip jar or a wish list (although I can nod embarrasedly toward the growing wedding registries that appear elsewhere on this site).

That said, if there's one gift I'd ask for, something that I should buy but haven't, a gift I don't need and wouldn't use often but would be cheery and proud to own, an item where the creator deserves a thank-you and a few dollars for the effort, it's Sam Brown's Wish for something better (third item). Exploding Dog remains fascinating, enduring, and wonderful.

P.S. I dig the "original shirt" too.

In the end, it's still jail
August 27, 2002 +
Welcome to Club Fed: Life within a minimum-security prison.

I don't think that I can take it
August 26, 2002 +
"There was a concert in Prospect Park. The band Cake was headlining. It began to rain, a big, nasty downpour. We were getting ready to leave...."

Health-concious candy counter
August 22, 2002 +
Hershey's Web site has a Web page listing the various permutations of candy portions and combinations under 100 calories. Most of them stay under five grams of fat, too. Cheers to Hershey for considering consumers like me—chocoholics who want to sneak a sweet snack while sticking to their diets.

Latest column
August 21, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right

Weekend redux
August 21, 2002 +
Rockport, Mass., Saturday, 2 p.m.: Buy fried clams from Roy Moore, cooked to perfection.

Essex, Mass., Saturday, 8 p.m.: Drive past Woodman's and Farnham's, the originators of the fried Ipswitch clam, each with a long line out the door. Lick lips and pat belly knowingly.

The New York Times, Wednesday: The Deep-Fried Truth About Ipswich Clams. "The legend of Ipswich fried clams continues," writes the Times reporter. "Why?" One trip to Cape Ann answers that question for good.

Staying away
August 20, 2002 +
Like a jilted lover ignoring the phone when it rings, I am slowly but surely losing my baseball fanaticism.
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Contingency design
August 19, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right
Making Mistakes Well in New Architect. Smart, sensible, obvious, and essential. Even simple solutions, like the standard 404 error page I developed for, reduces confusion and aggravation, making the user experience more pleasant (and likely more successful). The more a site can customize and fix a user's mistakes, the better the user will respond.

Now that's a niche
August 19, 2002 +
Meet Anita Marks, the nation's most prominent Jewish woman football player/Playboy model.

Gone starfishing
August 15, 2002 +
My weekend to come: driving to Rockland County; driving to Foxwoods; gambling; driving to Rockport, Mass., on Cape Ann; checking into the Yankee Clipper Inn with my family and my to-be-betrothed; eating seafood; meandering/shopping; buynig penny candy; climbing on rocks; swimming; blowing bubbles; and wading thigh-deep in a tide pool looking for starfish (to look at) and crabs (to race).

See y'all Monday.

More kudos
August 13, 2002 +
WebWord has published a nice review of "Site" written by the guy behind I appreciate that on so many levels.

Keep your eyes on the wheel and your hands...
August 13, 2002 +

August 9, 2002 +
This month's Fantastic Four comic book reveals that The Thing is Jewish. Growing up my mind wandered the most with Mr. Fantasticˇgray temples, don'tchaknowˇbut I always felt like I could relate to Ben Grimm just a little bit more. Fascinating. (via BoingBoing)

Nor can you ignore Netscape 4.7
August 9, 2002 + Posted to Getting It Right
"Web standards? You can't afford to ignore them anymore," writes Paul Boutin in Webmonkey (via bBlog, as I didn't know Webmonkey was still breathing).

I agree, but essays like this ignore mitigating factors: Man-hours, revenue-generating issues, time allotments, legacy code, browser stats. I'm knee-deep in a push for standards at, but I am required to advocate a long-term solution, which will take a year or more to fully implement.

Last I saw, too, the 4.x browser usage on my employer's site was still a lofty 15%, which complicates things. Every "compliant" markup I see has all sorts of level-4 browser contingency workarounds which, while "clean" in the purest sense, are no more useful than the old table-and-font model.

In short: Baby steps. I want standard code as much as the next plastic-bespectacled usability expert, but I want it without sacrifice.

August 8, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
Amy and I set a date last night: August 23, 2003, at the Essex House in Manhattan. We have our band lined up too. Progress!

Amy didn't want me to set up a Web page about our wedding but I did anyway. Nothing mushy in there, I promise.

August 7, 2002 +
Added this site to BlogTree today—I was curious to see who my "sibling blogs" were.

Ideapad BlogTree

Feels nice to give credit to the sites that inspired me to start this site (although it was more of a journal than a weblog, as it often is today). Humbling to admit today, but I used Jason Kottke's "steal this website" iniative to get mine started.

If you're wondering, I got online in December 1987 (yes, '87), began my Internet career in October 1995, started Web design full-time in August 1996, launched the Ideapad in November 1998, and bought in July 2000.

The right degree of reverence
August 6, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
The Steven Spielberg edition of "Inside the Actor's Studio" ends with Holly Hunter, Spielberg's good friend and one of his favorite actors, crashing the taping. Host James Lipton calls Hunter to the stage and, after exchanging amused greetings, she asks Spielberg how he enjoyed the evening. Spielberg's reaction reveals the magic of the show.
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Look out, Julia Child
August 5, 2002 + Posted to Quite Keen
Registering for our wedding at Fortunoff yesterday, Amy stopped excitedly by the handsome, burly KitchenAid mixers on display in the front of the appliances department.

"Ooooh—David, I want a mixer!"

Me: "We have a Manhattan-apartment kitchen and we hardly ever cook. What will you do with it?"

Amy pauses, a perfect beat that would make Bob Newhart proud.


"Oh?" I ask. "And what will you be mixing?"

Another beat.


Nielsen, TiVo to share viewer data
August 5, 2002 +
Nielsen Media Research and TiVo have agreed to measure viewing habits through the collection of TiVo recording data. This is huge: For the first time, when viewers record shows to watch later, their viewing will be counted in the total audience.

Nielsen should be proud of this move on both a technical and intellectual level, as it is an acknowledgement of viewing habits and a way to more precisely measure them. TiVo can brag about the TV-industry validation this deal will bring its equipment.

Click the "read more" link below to read the text of the memo sent to Nielsen clients this morning (passed to me by a colleague in the industry).
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And now I will teach you something
August 2, 2002 +
Thixotropic solids have a thick and gelatinous form yet become more liquid upon activity. Many examples are found in the home: ketchup, mayonnaise, toothpaste, for example. This is a distinct state of being beyond gelatinous.

I had been groping for this word some time ago and was pleasantly reminded of it by the Last Word question, What's the best way of getting ketchup out of the bottle without breaking the bottle or splattering the sauce?

August 2, 2002 +
Wanted to say hello to my new readers this week who have arrived through Jason's Cheat Sheet Creator. And congrats to Jason on his television debut. Next thing you know I'll be featured on Blogger...!

July 2002




Copyright © 2002 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.