odds & ends

[written 09/29/04]

update: ever since the debate last night, i’ve been getting hits from people looking for a bit torrent of the presidential debates, since this post here talks about both, though for different reasons. anyways, if you’re one of those people, here’s what you’re looking for: http://www.lokitorrent.com/torrents-details.php?id=31968 [from lessig blog; you need to login to lokitorrent, but it’s free]

hi there, it’s a sleepy morning on a computer with a squeaky space bar and dreams of cockroaches and unidentifiable long-legged insects. and last night, arriving late at my apartment and finding no legal parking spot after a good ten minute search, i parked in a not-very-good-spot definitely-in-the-red-but-it’ll-have-to-do and set my alarm clock for seven in the morning so that i could move the car before the meter people started working and could give me a ticket. so, after that very long sentence, you can guess this part: i got the ticket anyway, timestamped at 6:16 in the morning. argh! sixty-five bucks down the drain. …..ok, moving on. coming up: techie, library and then presidential stuff.

techie stuff first:

i installed this handy little program called shortstat on my site for better tracking capabilities, since lunarpages doesn’t believe in awstats, which i used to have and was thus spoiled to ever be able to use webalizer again and since textpattern’s logging pages, although satisfying on an individual basis, doesn’t give me an overall view of the month, much less week’s stats. i also tweaked the script a bit thanks to nomadig (here, too) and thewatchmakerproject , as well as hicks on using shortstat with textpattern. give it a gander. i especially like the country box, very fun.

oh, and i’m discovering the joys (and headaches) of bit torrent.

hopefully not related, i got my first mac virus this weekend. i was typing and all of a sudden the screen had a few lines of black at the top with all this gobbledy text and then haltingly my entire desktop started moving down off the screen leaving a black nothing at the top. freaked out, i flipped the laptop over, unplugged it from the power and popped out the battery. then i immediately installed norton’s systemworks while bemoaning my loss of mac-smugness. seems like nothing got deleted or messed with and now i have weekly updates, etc. with norton. eek.

library stuff:

i think this might be the quarter of Alluring Public Librarianship. not only will i be not taking a single informatics or archives class, but two out of three classes are strictly involving the (gasp) masses that use the library. not only that, but the calif. library assoc.’s annual conference is looking mighty spiffy, with not only the esteemable walt crawford of cites & insights fame but also the mysterious lemony snickett. so how can i not go?! and the workshops are deliciously not archives at all: ‘bilingual storytime? me?’, ‘setting up your library’s blog’ (they better mention blogwithoutalibrary.net or i will), ‘has the dmca left us any fair use issues? can libraries be liable for file sharing’, ‘dragons, deed, and daring deeds @ your library’, etc etc. the mad librarian has come up with a list of helpful hints for the newbie conference goes (well, it was created for ala, but i’m sure some of it applies to cla as well).

for my kid’s lit class (which i’m getting more and more excited about), we have to read harry potter. (book one, i believe). now, that’s exactly why being a librarian appealed to me when i was ten or so. and, it still does.

presidential stuff:

the presidential debate agreement (pdf) between bush and kerry states:

  • ~ parties agree not to issue challenges to additional debates while debating
  • ~ parties agree not to appear in any other debate or adversarial forum with other presidential candidates
  • ~ topic of the sept 30th debate: foreign policy and homeland security
  • ~ topic of the oct 13th debate: economic and domestic policy
  • ~ the oct 8th debate: not limited to any topic
  • ~ no props, charts, notes or diagrams are allowed
  • ~ candidates may however take notes “on the size, type, and color of paper each prefers and using the type of pen or pencil that each prefers” *****
  • ~ “the candidates may not ask each other direct questions, but they may ask rhetorical questions”
  • ~ numerous coin tosses will determine much, including who first gives the opening and closing statments, who get to choose stage/podium positioning, etc etc ad nauseum
  • ~ “the commission shall use best efforts to maintain an appropriate temperature” (makes me wonder if there’s a history of broken a/c at these things..)
  • ~ “each candidate may use his own makeup person”
  • ~ risers or anything used “to create an impression of elevated height” are not allowed (tell me, are they really going to check w’s shoes?)
  • ~ at different debates the following will be used: podiums & no seating devices allowed, swivel chairs at a table with the moderator, and stools (very important stuff here, folks)

(*****too funny: “each candidate must submit to the staff of the commission prior to the debate all such paper and any pens or pencils” – reminds me of taking the sat in high school, to make sure we weren’t cheating. ha.)