Photos Spare Cycles MythBusters


July 3, 2009

New front page

The front page of this site was getting stale and wasn't reflecting my more recent focus on cycling photography, so it's been redone. Feel free to let me know what you think!

March 3, 2008

Moving off Flickr: Probably a Success


Above: traffic to the spare cycles home page during the Tour of California. The decline over time I believe reflects the NorCal bias in my traffic as the NorCal stages were first in the race.

Here's a quick run-down of stats with my post-Flickr move. I thought I'd share as others have contemplated similar and might appreciate seeing the results of another's experiment. As a quick summary, I decided to move my professional cycling photography off Flickr prior to the Tour of California, my big event of the year. My galleries are a mixture of homebrew Python code to upload images and MovableType templates to display them.

My conclusion: moving off of Flickr was the right thing to do. There is a bit of apples and oranges: I photographed the Tour of California a lot more this year and there is carry over from my previous year's coverage. At the very least, though, I was able to significantly improve traffic despite my move off Flickr.

Traffic to the Spare Cycles homepage was up ~500%, visitors stuck around longer, my most popular ToC 2008 photo already has more views than my post popular 2007 photo*, my teaser ToC photos on Flickr have far less views than my photos, and none of this counts the thousands of hotlink hits I got from embedded images on other sites. The embeds also made it easier to find my photos on other sites as those sites linked to instead of Flickr. The only negative I could find is that there are far fewer comments, which I miss and reflect on the strong community of Flickr.

Purely on the goal of making it possible for more people to see my photos, I'm happy with my choice. As a bit of advice to others contemplating the same, I highly recommend the ability to embed images as this made it far easier for people I was working with to use my images.

* caveat: discounting a glitch Flickr had that gave bogus views to a sequence of my 2007 photos

November 10, 2007

Upgraded to MT4

I've been a bit lazy in transitioning to MT4 -- I've been happy with the site and haven't really wanted to tackle any possible upgrade issues. But the iMT plugin -- MovableType for the iPhone -- is pretty darn appealing. I'm also testing whether or not I can move some of my Flickr content back onto this site, so it's best to start at the leading edge.

Update: the fancy new interface of MT4 is definitely causing some bugs... (the textbox in the entry didn't load, the page is jumping up and down because I clicked on a menu, etc...)

May 21, 2007

The infinite cycle of redesign (redesign phase I complete)


The infinite spiral of redesign. I'm not happy with the tag pages or the front page sidebar yet, but all in good time (or never).

Blog redesign in progress


If all goes well, the oft-delayed redesign should be ready to go tomorrow. I'm testing it here (the top navigation header is just a placeholder right now). I surveyed a bunch of different blogs out there and drew up all sorts of elaborate designs, but a quick-and-clean design I did in a couple of minutes in Photoshop won me over. This is my first design that is specifically geared towards Flickr photos: the main content matches the 500-pixel-wide Flickr medium images and the side column matches the small images. The new design also does away with all the AJAX-y stuff, aligns the site with the frontpage, adds a footer, and makes use of the MovableType 3.x sidebar for more contextual content. There will be some more tweaks as I go along (such as what to put in the right column on the front page), but the basics are in place.

I'm a little amused by the fact that the design is close to the default MovableType 2.x templates, given that the point of this is to update things to MovableType 3.x. The plethora of MovableType 2.x blogs back in the day made the Georgia font uncool, but now that everything has moved towards sans-serif fonts I feel that I can go back and reclaim that territory.

April 27, 2007

Elsewhere on

April 12, 2007

New homepage

New version up at, old version if you're curious.

March 24, 2007

More redesign fever strikes

I had to see how the logo design would work on my actual site, which somehow led to me doing a complete mockup redesign of my front page. This is all just photoshop and I'll need to redo the text and reshoot the top photo if I actually use this. I couldn't make up my mind on the logo to use, so the extended entry has the dot-less/drop-less version for comparison.

Continue reading "More redesign fever strikes" »

March 23, 2007

New logo?

I dreamt this up in the morning before work. I've always found 'kwc' typographically unbalanced and awkward: the 'k' and the 'w' clash. This is one quick attempt to bring balance back.

update: some alternatives

February 25, 2007

Testing out the new digs

Some of you may have noticed that was offline today. This was inopportune seeing as I was 400 miles away and in the midst of posting lots of cycling coverage.

But is back now and it is no longer on my home DSL. I am now serving it on AN Hosting. AN Hosting uses the atrocious cpanel UI, but it happens to be really inexpensive and they promise good uptime. We shall see. It can't be any worse than my DSL line, which was finally being maxed out by recent increases in traffic.

Things may be a little unstable until I get all the right permissions and configurations and whatnot in place.

February 16, 2007

Slashdot aftermath

Yesterday's Slashdotting only brought in about 4-5x the normal daily traffic. As it turns out, I was actually getting hit by a one-two punch: two days ago was a big traffic spike due to a Obi-Wan Kenobi Valentine's image I posted from Something Awful (people were loading a 150K category archive page).

Looking at the number of visits:

08 Feb 2007 3832
13 Feb 2007 4782
14 Feb 2007 7946

15 Feb 2007 18078

18,000+ isn't that terrible in comparison to the normal 3,000-4,000 daily visits. It certainly would have been much higher had my server not been burning toast.

Yesterday was actually a good day from a bandwidth perspective (300-450MB is normal).

08 Feb 2007 412.45 MB
13 Feb 2007 658.47 MB
14 Feb 2007 946.67 MB
15 Feb 2007 457.37 MB

NOTE: The heavy bandwidth on the 13th and 14th was due to the Valentine's traffic.

# of pages and # of hits was only about 2x normal.

So, from a traffic perspective, it wasn't really the DSL line that was at issue. My Apache server (for whatever reason) wasn't able to handle the # of requests coming in. I blame Windows/Microsoft, as always (not my lack of skills in configuring an Apache conf file ;) ). Looking at my network utilization graph, the Apache server would handle the incoming requests well for a couple of minutes without fully saturating the link. Then there would be a sharp spike and the graph would flatline as the Apache server became unresponsive.

Perhaps the more interesting statistic was how I did with my Google ads. I believe I'm not allowed to share those directly, but I can make the following summarizations:

  • click-through ratios went down on my blog. Slashdot traffic is not ad-friendly.
  • click-through ratios on everything else went up about 3-4x.
  • yesterday still was not a 'banner day' with respect to ads

One nefarious conclusion one can draw from this is that slow site = better ad sales. This makes sense: people see the ad load, but the rest of the content is slow in coming and they decide to leave.

November 2, 2006

Redesign poll

Redesign is in the works. I've tagged ~400 past entries, slowly working my way up to all 2100+. Soon I'll redirect my efforts to actual visual designs, thus a poll.

  1. Renaming 'kwc blog'. I want something shorter. I'm currently favoring "kwc'r", but other suggestions are votes for status quo are welcome.

  2. Visual design. I need to update to more modern templates for administrative reasons: should I keep the same look, or should I venture into new territory? I absolutely don't like the default MovableType templates, so a new design would be anything but.

  3. Architecture blog? I'm thinking of breaking out architecture-related content in order to better feature and categorize content. I have some Japan photos awaiting this decision.

Your input is much appreciated.

October 30, 2006 now on MovableType 3.3

I've upgraded to use MovableType 3.3 (this is a prelude to upgrade movabletypo). MT 3.3 adds two new major features in my opinion: built-in tagging and widgets. The latter should make it a lot easier for MovableTypers to maintain their blogs, as widgets allow you to update sidepanel content without having to edit your templates, which is a major pain of old MT. I haven't given that a try yet, though -- I've been busy trying to tag my old entries. So far I've tagged 100 entries. Only 2200 left to go...

This is all a prelude to a major site redesign. I'm jealous that meta finally found the time. Mine will be more oriented towards finally bringing into the MovableType 3.x world, as my templates were designed with the entirely different MT 2.x-isms that require many hacks to get them to do all the customized behaviors like books covers and selective ads that I like.

September 29, 2006

slight redesign

I forgot to note that the frontpage got a slight redesign. I'm still looking for greater inspiration, but I wanted to make greater use of the 1600+ photos in my Flickr account.

June 7, 2006

BoingBoing'd: unimpressed

I got a lot of traffic yesterday (to cooling a six-pack) from BoingBoing and it wasn't nearly as much as I thought it would be. It was secondary traffic, mind you, in one of the "Update" link sets, but it only generated about another 1,000 visitors to the site, which didn't even double my traffic. A third-order Slashdotting -- getting a link from the Slashdot comments section -- is just as effective.

Update: hmm, maybe I'll have to retract my "unimpressed." According to Feedburner, my subscriptions to MythBusters went from 17 to 85. 66 of subscribers are listed as Firefox Live Bookmarks, which seems odd to me, so I'll have to see if that one holds up.

May 2, 2006

Light blogging cont'd + hiatus

I'm heading off to Japan on Friday for work + play. I've been catching up on my lessons, which I think is an excellent language resource for those of you with iPods. You get beginner- and intermediate-level spoken courses and you also get an English/romaji/kanji/hiragana/katakana transcription if you press you press the center wheel on your iPod a couple times. I didn't even know that you could store note tracks with podcasts until they explained this feature and I've loved it ever since.

I'm hoping my RSI cools down a bit while in Japan, but for now the light blogging continues...

On a separate note, the episode guide for Myths Reopened is now up. The arrow-splitting myth was the only true revisit; the salami rocket and bullets fired underwater were variations of the original myth.

April 10, 2006

Light blogging

My RSI is acting up again so I'm going to try and go light with the blogging and all other forms of typed communication. I've got a tiny bit of stuff from the Alternative Press Expo (APE), some Japan WWII photo comparisons, a MythBusters episode writeup, some more Sea Otter Classic race stuff, and MagnaView Part II, all in due time. But first, taxes.

March 9, 2006

And the winner is...

Entry 2000, "Shooting cycling photographs with a Canon Digital Rebel," was just posted over on my spare cycles blog. I think the cycling-related post is rather appropriate for entry 2000 as it was the Tour of California that seemed to throw off the guesses the most.

The winner of the contest to guess the correct post time is .... HORIZONLINE! who wins a threadless t-shirt with a guess of March 13th at 12:45:07 -- only four days off. Of the other guesses, honeyfields seems to think that I am capable of posting as fast as ln m -- puh-lease, no one but ln m can achieve such blistering rates.

You're free to accuse me of collusion, but with the regular Tour of California entries making up the bulk of February, it would have been harder to rig. If you feel like protesting, you can try to guess which Threadless t-shirt horizonline will buy and buy it first instead :).

I have no retrospective for entry 2000. Mostly this was a good excuse for me to get some entries finished or deleted from my drafts, slighly update the frontpage, and break off two new blogs: mythbusters and cycling. I will say that 2000 entries is a lot for MovableType -- my new blogs build so much faster!

February 15, 2006

Speaking of stats (Tuning Apache) has slowly been degrading in performance, but thanks to some Apache tuning slides and some followup with bp I think I have bought some more time. The key was turning off the AllowOverride for nearly every directory on this site. Way back when had very little traffic, I had created an htaccess file to help me migrate from an older MovableType installation. It turns out that a large htaccess file and a sudden influx of traffic can bring your Apache to a halt.

I've wondered what the breaking point of my setup would be. I run on my home Windows desktop over 802.11g and DSL. Eventually it was going to start showing cracks. January was the first month that this site eclipsed 50,000 visitors and there is a slight chance of breaking 60,000 this month. This isn't very large compared to other sites: Alexa ranks somewhere between 116,013 and 383,693, which is not in the range that Alexa actually considers trackable. However, is now serving 6KB/s on average, with much higher traffic during peak times and as much as 800MB in a single day. Anywhere between 10-20% of my DSL bandwidth is being eaten up, so I may have to get more creative in the future to keep things running. I've also noticed MovableType degrading, often failing to rebuild files on the first try. It will be a race between MT and my DSL line to see which requires attention next.

February 14, 2006

2 * 1000 update

I'm aware that some might try to gain advantage by entering at the last possible moment (you know who you are :) ), which is unfair to those who boldly entered when I announced the contest. To be more fair to the prompt entries, I'm adding this addendum: starting tomorrow, all new entries will be assessed a 24-hour penalty per day, i.e. if you enter a guess tomorrow then it will be penalized 24 hours, if you enter on Thursday your guess will be penalized 48 hours, and so forth, up until the time I close entries. Today is the last day you can enter with no penalty.

February 13, 2006

2 * 1000 contest

I create competitions out of everything, especially when there is little or no point. In this spirit I am announcing the Second Mill-entrial Guess When kwc Posts Entry 1000 (* 2), a Celebration of Ginormous Wastes of Time. bp was probably hoping for another free dinner, but I decided to be more fair to the VA watchers and redo the prizes this time around. For the best guess of the post time of the 2000th entry, I'm offering your choice of one of these <$20.00 prizes, selected for their appropriateness to recent content:

To enter, leave a comment here with: * your guess of the exact post date and time of the 2000th entry (down to the second) * your preferred prize * your name

I promise not to read your entries until after I've posted entry #2000 -- a filter in my GMail inbox will be keeping a tally of how many entries have been made. Do not leave entries in the comments here -- you should only comment here if you wish to complain about the prize selection.

The most important thing you need to know, of course, is that this is entry #1948.

See also: First Mill-entrial Guess When kwc Posts Entry 1000

November 8, 2005

What you don't see

I thought this was an interesting meme: Jeffrey Veen asks on his blog post, "So what's in your Drafts folder?" (aka "Folder of Shame"). Here you go, a sampling of my unbaked ideas:

  • Redesigning soon
  • Tag
  • Sony copies, changes
  • More auto-captions
  • 4th Rule of Robotics
  • Bias in voices
  • Post-Tour wrapup
  • Comic-Con: T-shirt ideas
  • My own crazy conspiracy theory
  • Removed photos
  • On airports

September 29, 2005

I'm superduper rich!

adsense100.JPGI sold out last May and started putting Google Adsense ads on some of the older entries on this site. For the first couple of months I only got $0.29/day. In August it jumped up to about $1.07/day and this month it's $1.29/day (the increases were due to placing ads on more pages).

At $0.29/day having ad revenue is like getting a nice birthday present once a year: it's nice, but you're not really sure it's worth the effort. Once I broke $1/day it became much easier to match the revenue to the costs of running the site: $30/month matches well with Web hosting costs or can easily fund hardware upgrades. There's no profit in it, but it feels more self-sustaining.

I didn't sell out to make a profit, so this for me is a wild success. I still find it mind-boggling that anyone would pay me any money to read my old dreck, but I'm sure I can manage a happy maniacal laugh when I deposit my first check.

August 27, 2005

Testing new MovableType 3.2

Please leave a comment if you can, need to know if this works properly

August 8, 2005

Still behind

July always exerts an huge blogging burden and unlike last year I wasn't able to keep up with it all. Depending on my free time I may be flooding my blog again with even more posts that make it look like I'm amazingly productive, but really this is all just backlog and backwash.

Still to come (mostly a checklist for myself): Baudolino notes, Red Mars notes, Design of Everday Things notes, Post Tour de France wrapup, GPS mapping experiment, some more Caltrain infovis, some BlogHer thoughts, some Bruce Campbell quotes, and some Tour de Comic-Con photos (though m beat me to the punch and I won't have much to add).

June 26, 2005


My computer, the one that runs, died earlier today in a fit of hard drive badness. Initially I was going to go my traditional incremental route, but when I weighed the amount of time it would take to get everything reinstalled versus future, planned upgrades, I decided to turn this unplanned event into an opportunity to do a major rebuild.

Starting in 1998 or so, I built Version 1.0. I budgeted about $500/year for computer parts in order to keep my computer perpetually almost-top-of-the-line, but never cream of the crop. Some years I would replace the motherboard, other years brought accessories like external hard drives and LCD monitors. The only original parts after seven years of rebuilding are the computer case and the CD drive. I called this computer Karma, because I somehow figured that it was a fitting name for the incremental approach.

I'm now saying goodbye to that lineage. Much like the Windows software that runs on it, it simply acquired too much cruft to continue onward. The original case is a sentimental possession, covered with stickers, glow-in-the-dark paint, and other detritus from years past, but it lacked proper cooling, ease-of-access, and front panel inputs. The original CD drive required that I manually extend the drive tray.

There has to be some inheritance to carry on the proud tradition; in this case it is the memory sticks, video card, and wireless card -- all late additions -- that survived into the new case.

Karma now sits partially gutted, travelling on its way to the River Styx. If I find a couple of coins to stick on its eyes maybe it will be able to buy some memory from the ferryman and journey back to the world of the living, but for now I'm busy trying to get this puppy into Web-serving, photo-editing condition.

There also has to be a name for the new machine. I chose the name Fenix, because he just looks so happy dancing among the blue flames:


June 14, 2005


I broke the magical $10 barrier with my Google adwords today. It took about a month to reach that mark, though it took about a week of fidgeting with the ad layout to figure out what was the best placement.

I monitored mybloglog to figure out which entries to place ads on, eventually choosing about 15% of my entries to mark with ads -- this results in about a third of my incoming traffic is being served ads right now. I would get a higher percentage if I placed ads on my category archives, but I'm not willing to do that right now.

Of course, given that In-n-Out pays $10/hr starting, I would make more money flipping burgers, but experiments are experiments. If only I could start getting some of the home loan ads or trial lawyer ads, I would really be rolling in the dough.

I've placed ads on this entry if you're curious to see them (if you don't see them, click on the entry title to go to the individual entry page).

May 23, 2005

A slightly new look

I'm jumping on the Ajax bandwagon and redesigning my site a touch. A couple weeks ago I pared down the right-column a bit, and now, with the assistance of Ajax, I've modified the "Old: Monthly | Category" menu into its now current incarnation. I plan to add in an option to load my Flickr photos and bookmarks into this page, but that is on hold until I do some server upgrades.

My overall goal is to add more content to the front page while at the same time reducing clutter.

May 9, 2005

Selling out

I've sold out to The Man and have started running Google AdSense ads on various entries on this site.

I debated this for a fairly long time, trying to solve the problem, "Can I place ads on this site without you (my friends) your myself ever having to see them?" Running this site costs money, so ads would be a good way of defraying those costs. I wasn't able to come up with a satisfactory solution for several months, but what finally tipped the balance was the data that was coming in from MyBlogLog.

The stats from MyBlogLog were interesting to me, not only because they provide a better measure of traffic than my Web server stat logs, which are polluted by spammers, but they also happen to tell me the most popular entries where people are clicking on links to leave my site. In other words, in examining these stats, I can find older entries people are using to find information not on my site. This, in many ways, is my target audience for ads: people whom I don't know, who are directed to my site by a search engine, and are interested in content not on my site.

Armed with this information, I have placed ads on about 50-60 entries on this site (about 5% of the total entries). There are various rules that I used to determine these entries, and while I may violate some for convenience, they are:

  • entry no longer displayed on my front page
  • higher traffic relative to other entries
  • unlikely to be visited by me or my friends (i.e. not journal-like, not my photos, not my notes)
  • keyword friendly (e.g. 'Google', 'Microsoft', 'Backpack', 'Gehry')

I hope that these rules will create enough extra effort in adding ads to entries that the number of entries with ads continues to stay very low. For now this is an experiment, and if it fails, either due to a lack of revenue or because it does not satisfy my original criteria ("only strangers see ads") I'll pull the ads as it won't be worth maintaining.

If you're curious, here are some example pages with ads: one two three four five

Update: I'm $0.03 richer! I can quit my day job!

April 14, 2005 Search Keyword Fight I

In the spirit of mining stats to do auto-captioning, and inspired by wombat's Googlefight model of decision making, I bring you the latest to be scraped from my server logs: Search Keyword Fight I (roman numerals indicate the potential for future fights). Rules: each term below is given a score indicating the number of times it was used in a search query (Google/Yahoo/etc...) that ended up on For example:

  • mit 9
  • stanford 7

means that "MIT" was used in 9 search queries, and "Stanford" was used 7 times.

Round 1: Gender superiority

Hard to judge this round: man has a slight lead in the individual scoring, but Batman was a suprise third.

  • man 22
  • woman 16
  • batman 10
  • stickman 8
  • manchuria 7

Women shutout the men in the team competition, and the co-ed X-Men team posted a respectable score for homo superior.

  • women 34
  • x-men 6
  • men 0

Round 2: Warrior supreme

  • samurai 50
  • pirates 9
  • ninjas 6

Note to Hollywood: do more samurai films (w/o Tom Cruise).

Round 3: Computer Religion

I couldn't help but notice these two fighting neck-and-neck for position among my stats:

  • apple 67
  • microsoft 67

Round 4: Morality

  • evil 33
  • hate 13
  • good 9
  • love 0

I'm not sure how to interpret this round. Is it my site is evil -- I do write about evil bunnies from time to time -- or is it that people who use search engines are looking for evil/hateful content?

Bonus Round

This is a search query stat fight, so we'll end the scoring with a fight between the search engines themselves:

  • google 125
  • yahoo 11

April 1, 2005


In order to recuperate the $1.00 I spent outsourcing my plagiarism entry, I've decided to join Boring Boring and Gakker in adding banner ads to this site to support my continued plagiarism. Fear not, this is only for the short-term, as I've contacted the makers of Bloggy, the Blogging Robot about building my own kwcBloggy -- well, not really building my own, but rather paying someone else to build one for me.

craigslist cowboy pretty hip tired lessig

Ode to '97

under construction

I did say that I hoped to never do this again, but as I've previously confessed, I'm a plagiariser -- I never wrote that in the first place. So for today only, I've updated to make homage to the 20th century's greatest contribution to the Web: blinking text.

Update: There's only so much my stomach can take, but for those of you who haven't quite vomited from my nostalgic makeover, you can still get your fill.

March 23, 2005

I could complain, but...

It's been interesting to watch the top search keywords for this site evolve over time. There was a bit of pride when my top keyword was 'gollum', which was related to a photo of gollum that I had posted to one of my entries. There wasn't nearly as much pride when the Khleo generics fan club hijacked my Holes review. Befuddlement turned to slight disgust when my top keyword was 'species iii girl comic-con in box'.

In recent months, my Mythbusters posts have each taken their turns in the top keywords list. While I'm happy to see that people searching for "Archimedes Death Ray" may find something useful in my show notes, I'm a bit bothered that Scottie Chapman -- blond, tattooed, female, welding member of the build team -- has spent several months in the top spots. I would even be tempted to write a rant about this, but parakkum has already saved me the effort, pointing me to this quotable rant written by someone empathetic to this specific vexation:

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the number one referrer to this here blog are search requests for "Scottie Chapman."? The number two search request is for "Scottie Chapman...nude."

While I appreciate the traffic, Sweet Jesus, people get a life!

There are no nude pictures, no pictures of the lovely and enchanting Ms. Chapman here or anywhere else of which I know. There are no pictures of Scottie Chapman here at all. Now go read a book, plant a garden, or something.

Instead of a personal rant like the one above, I can instead happily report that a force more powerful than Scottie Chapman has captured the top rankings this month: EVIL BUNNIES!. Yes, honeyfields, your evil-filled bunnies have shown that the power of the Evil Cute can defeat the Forces of Pr0n. Cute Animals and TnA may battle it out daily on the Yahoo! Image Popularity Tracker, but here, on, "Evil Bunnies" have won the day.

March 18, 2005


Kenji informs me that my logo has been stolen by Creatas.

I'm offended that a design site, of all places, would dare to steal my copyrighted/patented/signature/unique Four-Square (tm) design for their own. I can remember back to the third grade when I first came up with the basic design, while swiftly dodging a red bouncy ball and advancing to first square. The original Four-Square (tm) logo design had more of a black-and-white feel back then, with a pavement texturing. There was further refinement during college, when the Four-Square (r) design took on more of an urban sidewalk feel, reflecting my move out of the suburbs.

So I say, round up the posse! I've been working on my side-spin and it's time to take Creatas down!

February 17, 2005

I'm a testimonial

I just found out that I'm listed on the GMail site under "Press and Testimonials." How amusing. Perhaps more amusing is that if you search Google for sites linking to my GMail review, the GMail site link does not show in the results.

About Gmail - Reviews

January 31, 2005

Feeds, feeds, and more feeds

I've added some new feeds for those that prefer consuming this site in feed form. I've been eyeing feedburner for awhile, and it seems like they've managed to keep adding improvements to what, at its heart, is a very simple idea. I've taken this as a good sign for the service, so I've finally given into the luxury of having my blog, flickr, accounts all aggregated into a single feed. Rather than force you all to consume every bit of content I create, I have created four separate feeds that you can subscribe to depending on your tastes:

October 22, 2004


My desktop may be infected with a virus, which may be the root of all my problems here. If you receive a file called "" from me, or any unexpected file whatsoever, please do not open it, and, if possible, let me know that you received it.

Many apologies. This is the first time I've been infected by a virus (that I know of) and it's rather embarrassing. Of course, I blame Microsoft.

Update: To put it in the words of Han Solo, "It's not my fault!" My computers came up clean for the Beagle virus, so I'll have to explore for other reasons my Web server keeps disconnecting.

August 22, 2004

Storage got cheap

Fry's had an 80GB Western Digital USB 2.0 hard drive for only $70 after rebate. They were selling an 80GB Western Digital internal hard drive (6MB more cache) for the same exact price. Apparently if I went a week earlier I could have gotten an off-brand 160GB external drive for $80, but this will do for now. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the darn thing.

August 16, 2004

Thank you Jay Allen!

MT-Blacklist v2.0e (emergency release) is out! It's installed on now and I will be putting it through the ropes to see how well it does. It comes just in the nick of time as it seems that the spammers have caught up to my latest attempts to foil them and have been leaving loads of spam in the past 48 hours.

I have long said I would upgrade movabletypo to MovableType 3.0 when MT-Blacklist comes out, but I will have to amend that statement slightly. The features I saw in the soon-to-be-release 3.1 are significant (no more individual archive rebuilds!), and this emergency release of MT-Blacklist will not be compatible with 3.1. So, my current thinking is that I will bite the upgrade bullet with MT 3.1.

Update: MT-Blacklist has made me aware that the same spammer has now made 200 failed attempts (and rising) to spam my blog. Surely there has to be a better use of bandwidth than 200 hits against my site in only 2 hours.

So yes, MT-Blacklist is working quite well (with some minor non-feature-related bugs).

August 13, 2004

Current search results for

It's been awhile since I've done a zeitgeist report for this site. In the past k-leo and gollum have ranked highly on this site's search results, though I moved the gollum image so as to lower that particular datapoint. The k-leo results remain because I find the comments on that thread so amusing that I can't bring myself to delete them.

I was inspired to do another report because I find the top result for this month so far to be really disturbing, which comes as a result of this comic-con post. As for the other results, let me state that: * the Redskins do not suck (at least, not yet) * It's sad that I've become tech support for Microsoft error messages. If I were to describe the one job in the world that you couldn't pay me enough to do, it would be Microsoft Tech Support, and yet my blog has doomed me to this terrible fate. Darn you MovableType! * which one is Andy Lau? * somehow I find Googling a Google e-mail address to be amusing.

search results

July 29, 2004

*blog seizure*

Stan Sakai has made his way into my backpostings, as my Quick Draw Panel entry is 90% complete (awaiting collaboration with Christine).

I still haven't posted on the half of the Stephen Silver talk (see Penny Arcade) I went to, nor my notes on Alex Sinclair's coloring tutorial (mostly a Photoshop tutorial), nor the Adapting Comics to the Screen Panel (during which I got a photo of myself with Stan Lee and his autograph). I think these notes will have to wait, even in light of the fact that my short term memory is gushing out of my ears right now due to the Comic-Con being followed by an AI conference. Of these three potential entries, it's most likely that I'll transcribe the Sinclair notes, and drop the others, but we shall see (any requests?). I also have about four photos of Jude Law that may languish, as well as some bad photos of Ray Park, Kenny Baker, a giant promo robot, and someone who I think is Sienna Guillory from the upcoming Resident Evil flick. There's also this interview with JD Salinger that I'm gonna toss. Good night.

July 26, 2004

My niche

I'd just like to note, having bombed you all with 25 entries in the past two days, that I am fairly certain that I am the only blog out there that is bringing you combined coverage of:

So piss off all you Democratic National Convention bloggers. No one wants your crappy thoughts on politics. The kwc-SDCC-TdF-AAAI connection is where it's at!

July 20, 2004

Busy behind the scenes

WARNING: the following entry is terribly boring, and unless you're interested in protecting your MT blog from spammers or XHTML-validating your Web site, I suggest that you skip this entry with only the knowledge that I am hard at work behind the scenes doing stuff that, for the most part, you won't notice.

I've been busy working on this blog, though you won't be able to notice the fruits of a lot of my efforts. If you're especially observant, you might be able to notice that I'm using a new names for the entry URLs, which is part future-proofing, and part protection from search-engine-powered spammers. I used the htaccess trick that I posted about awhile back, though I should have done it sooner, as I have a 138KB htaccess file as a result (I trimmed it down to 99KB on the presumption that certain entries weren't worth forwarding).

I've also been making other tweaks to protect this site against spammers including * changing the name of my stylesheet * changing the names of the category and monthly archive pages: * individual: <$MTEntryDate format="%Y"$>/<$MTEntryDate format="%Y-%m-%d"$>.<$MTEntryTitle dirify="1"$>.html * monthly: monthly/<$MTArchiveDate format="%Y"$>/<$MTArchiveDate format="%B_%Y"$>.html * category: category/<$MTCategoryLabel dirify="1"$>.html * tweaking the comment posting mechanism to be less search-engine friendly * other small tweaks to common wording that MovableType comes pre-installed with and is really easy to search for.

Another big change is that I've been trying to make sure that my pages XHTML validate, which is actually very time intensive, as I have to fix every typo I have made over the past year across 1200+ entries. To assist in this effort, I've been using the validate HTML bookmarklet from Jesse's Bookmarklets, and I have installed Markdown (much to bp's pleasure, I'm sure), as MovableType makes it very difficult to use blockquote's that validate. I'm a bit disappointed in Markdown thus far (limited range of character formatting, limited list interpretation syntax, no width/height on images, etc...), but the ability to generate XHTML-valid output is worth having it around when I need it. I think I might switch to Textile, which has a wider range of syntax, but I'm going to give Markdown a little bit more time to sink in first.

July 13, 2004

Crossing my fingers

Hoping that DSL will be setup today so that will resume normal service and I can start work once more on the feed aggregator. Tired of the broken links and missing content and inability to use the Internet from my bed.

Update: booo, still no DSL. suck

June 14, 2004

Comment spam is breaking my will to do... something

Despite various anti-spam attempts, it appears that I will lose this battle unless I take advantage of Typekey in some way, so I had another idea. I've setup a Typekey account called 'noone' ('anonymous' was already taken, so my idea is probably far from unique). It's password is 'noone'. Clearly, some one could login and screw with the account info, but really, what's the point?

So I am updating my templates for a trial period in which I will require all comments to be registered or otherwise be moderated, but if you choose to remain anonymous, you are free to use the 'noone' account to do so. This will be the first entry that features this requirement, if you wish to test it out.

June 8, 2004

Poll apologies

Apologies to all. Even though I have comment moderation turned off with the new MovableType, it still seems to be moderating, which means that all of your comments have been sitting in a queue. I'm working on figuring out this snafu right now.

Update: I'm still completely baffled. As of yesterday, it was allowing comments through unmoderated. Now MT 3.0 wants to moderate, even though the option has been turned off.

Update 2: I'm an idiot. Forgot to uninstall MT Blacklist, a plugin which I will miss dearly. As a bonus, you should be able to use typekey now.

June 7, 2004

One last poll

I've just upgrade this site to MovableType 3.0. There is very little different about it, mostly just new tools for managing comments and trackbacks. One of the more notable additions is that MT 3.0 would allow me to setup 'registered' comments on this site, i.e. when you comment, instead of entering in a name, e-mail, and URL, you could instead enter in a login and password.

My question for you is: if I added registered comments, would this be more convenient for you?

Here are the pros/cons as I see them:

- don't have to type in e-mail and URL if you want that information included
- I could possibly make registered comments more prominent

- you have to login
- have to register an account at
- your comments on this site are more easily trackable

(This is the last entry today, I promise)

May 18, 2004

Feedback for Sixapart

Sixapart asks, "How are you using the Tool?" I have two answers, as I have two separate Movable Type installations.

1) On this site, I use it to run my personal weblog as well as manage the static content of the site (ala Brad Choate). I also use it to manage my DVD collection, and, strangely, to write presentations (each entry == slide). I also keep one additional weblog which is there for me to store random content on my home server, i.e. the equivalent of a textual FTP server. This brings my total to five weblogs, and one 'active' author (and one inactive guest account). I am uncertain, reading the new definition of 'weblog' and 'author' set forth whether or not this is reducible to one author/one weblog, given that the blogs drive one main Web site (

2) on, I use it to host personal weblogs for four friends of mine, and in the future I plan to host even more people who are in need of a Web server for their own blog. There is one additional blog, which is a commons area for the site. This configuration would equate to five active authors, six blogs, and likely to slightly increase (by less than a factor of two).

April 16, 2004

My site's Amazon page

This is sort of a strange cross-over. As a result of visit Joi Ito's site, I found out that Amazon is now putting up listings for Web pages using Alexa data. This listings follow most of the normal convention for books, musics, and other products, including info such as: * Traffic rank (instead of sales rank) * Contact Info * Thumbnail of your site * People who visit this site also visit * Ratings

The latter two are apparently only available to high-ranking sites. When your traffic rank is in the millions like mine, they only provide basic info. I can't seem to find an easy way to browse info for different Web sites, so it seems that the easiest way to get info on your site is to go to Amazon's A9 and type in the URL there, then click on "Site Info" next to the appropriate search result. * website info: * website info: bOING bOING for an example of what a popular site looks like on Amazon

April 9, 2004

We have a winner

Five people entered the free dinner contest to guess the date of my 1000th entry, which ended up occurring April 5th. Of those five, two people had the text of their original submission available, two didn't have the text but honestly submitted answers that weren't winners, and one was unrecoverable. (Note to self: when you have people submit entries for a contest that involve using MD5 to hash the entry, make sure that they know to save the original text of their entry :) ). This isn't the best result you want in a contest, but we can still announce an undisputed champion, a prognosticator supreme:

bp, with your guess of April 1st, you have won a free, all expense paid trip to a restaurant of your choice! My checking account salutes you!

April 5, 2004

Okay, now what?

I am composing this 1000th entry using my old paper notebook, which is something I did without much thinking, but now seems to bring things full circle. I wish I could offer you something spectacular that I have been saving for precisely this moment, but instead I'll bore you with retrospection.

Having reached 1000 entries, it feels like these last ten were the hardest. Most of my posts have been reflexive, without much thought (perhaps a bad thing), but for each of these last ten I put much more consideration into whether or not it was appropriate, or whether I was just trying to reach 1000 quicker. I am reminded of what was said during meta's marathon: it's the last 0.2 miles that gets you.

This is hardly an accomplishment of the same order. Instead of being evidence of hard work, pain, and endurance, it is more appropriate to call this a tribute to the copy machine, which I learned so much about, for most of this blog has been defined by the content of the Web that I stumbled upon and was amused by or related to.

When I first started, it was easy enough to post links from BoingBoing and Fark, but at some point I grew bored of this, and many of you also started reading the same sites. KoKoRo, Kottke, mefi, and others also entered in the mix, and when this seemed to be not enough, I went to the Technorati and Blogdex aggregators to follow what was interesting. Now I'm inundated with 200+ entries a day from 50+ sites (all organized nicely by Bloglines), and yet, with all of this increased material to choose from, I can feel my rate of posting declining.

I liken this to when I first discovered Slashdot: it was like I was in geek heaven. I read nearly every entry, as well as the comments. Soon the comments became predictable, and the story posts familiar. I used to joke with friends about writing a bot that would automatically generate the first 200 comments for any given entry. Nowadays I read perhaps two Slashdot posts per day with interest, and I rely on a friend of mine to send me funny comments that he often finds moderated down to -1.

This same effect is happening with many of the sites I read. There's only so many stories about amusing things done while drunk, stupid criminals, flip-flopping Bush policies, and geeky stuff done with rotten meat and legos that I can read before it becomes hard to distinguish. There's a phrase bantered about that there's seven original plots in novels (or something like that), and the same could probably be said of content on the Web, especially when reduced to a category + one-line summary on Fark.

There have been sites that I think will remain exceptions. Making Light regularly engrosses me with it's original content, even if the topic of discussion is how to find an agent in the book industry, which is knowledge that I will never put to good use. Neil Gaiman tosses anecdotes into his journal that make me yearn for the never-to-be-written Good Omens II. Just today he posted the best possible review one could ever write for Scooby Doo II. Udell and Zeldman continue to push the edge in XML and CSS, respectively, filling me with new ideas for pages and software to write. There's also Gizmodo and Engadget, which will probably drain my wallet with their content for some time to come.

There's also all of your sites. meta, who has as many blogs as I do; pqbon, founder of 1010 blog, without which I would have hit 1000 entries a long time ago :); Gadget-superhero bp, who made the whole movabletypo experiment possible; the movabletypo guinea pigs -- honeyfields, cshell, rcp, and cr -- who probably don't realize how much they contribute to my publishing experiment; Paul, who introduced me to Mythbusters and thus gets credit for many entries here, including his cool-but-disturbing federal/state budget calculators; the LJ folks -- allplainstapped (aka cr), snortykills, glynnenstein, davextreme, and cyndercalhoon -- who introduced me to the site that inspired the 1010 aggregator, give me a link to the East Coast, and keep the cost of kwcblog down; and the Xanga folks -- ginfiend, psychoshepard, and wdj -- who entertain me with entries that are sometimes often too disturbing to post here.

I don't think that I will ever give up this blog, though I do imagine that less and less of my energy will be focused on writing entries here. Already I've diverted some of my energies to xanga2mt, tripod2mt,, and the 1010 aggregator that powers it. If there is anything that I am happy with as a result of blogging for this past year, it's been the 1010 aggregator. It appears that for some of you at least, it has created a sense of community among our disparate sites. I've heard some of you ask about people that you don't even know because of it, and someday you'll meet each other and awkwardly realize that you already know each other by your blog voices.

One of you has told me that the 1010 aggregator has encouraged your posting because it makes you feel that you have a common place to shout among other voices. For me, I think, it will have the opposite effect. The aggregator creates one voice out of many blogs, and now I don't feel like I have to be as loud. People visiting my site once a day won't be disappointed by the lack of new content; instead they can visit, and when I have something to say, it will appear there alongside the rest of your entries.

Looking forward, I see more work on the 1010 aggregator to test a couple more ideas, an MTInNOut plugin, and fun with MovableType 3.0. Also, copying meta, I envision spending more of my energies commenting on the sites of people I don't know and finding amusement in this wherever I can. My voice may be quieter here, but hopefully my vanity will make its presence known online through other means.

March 18, 2004

Samplin' the google rankin'

I found an online tool that returns the GoogleRank of your site (via blogdex). I posted some samples here, mainly because I thought it was interesting to see how easily blogs can destroy search engine results. As you can see, meta's and my blogs are only one pagerank away from Neil Gaiman, which really just doesn't seem appropriate, because he's way more popular, his blog is far more interesting, and has been around much longer. Also, if you were to look at our Technorati Cosmos, we're nowhere close to the sites that Google puts us next to.

I could not figure out any URLs that were a 1, nor could I find a Web site that was legitimately a 2. For the site that came up a 2, I added "www" to the front of it, and it became a 3. 0/10 3/10 3/10 4/10 5/10 5/10 5/10 5/10 6/10 6/10 6/10 7/10 7/10 7/10 7/10 8/10 8/10 9/10 9/10 9/10 10/10 10/10

March 1, 2004

Need two one zero more contestants

I need five people for the free dinner pool and I only have three. Come on people, it's free dinner, and the cost of entry is free. Don't let Paul, Mike, and honeyfield's bets go to waste:

free dinner

Update: we have five contestants now, but more are always welcome.

February 25, 2004

Free dinner

I'm currently at 922 entries (this is #922). At my current pace, it means that I should hit the 1000 mark sometime in the next 3 months.

To celebrate the monumental waste of time that is this blog, I offer the following contest to my friends:

Guess the date that I post entry 1000, I buy you a free dinner

As an aid, you should click on the "Monthly" link near the top of the front page. It has a histogram of my monthly posting rate, which should help guide your entries.

Contest rules:
1) Winner is the closest time, regardless of over/under.
2) Dinner can be anywhere, as long as it the restaurant is in Menlo/PA/MV/Sunnyvale.
3) Others may come to the dinner, but the contest only covers your meal (no silly gimmicks either :) ).
4) There must be at least five entries, as pools of four people or less are kinda silly.

Do not send me your times -- if I know your guesses, then people might accuse me of rigging the contest, especially if meta wins. Instead, post a comment to indicate that you're interested in the competition, and I'll figure out a way to collect your guesses without actually seeing them.

February 16, 2004

Site redesign launched

It seems appropriate that for entry 900, I should launch a new design. I know that it's only been an hour or so since I posted about this as a work-in-progress, but I got impatient and decided to give it a go. Pages other than the front page are still using the old design until I have enough time to go through and tweak their layouts.

Partial site redesign in progress

Despite many attempts, I was never able to erradicate the MovableType-ness of the current site design. There was also a whole lotta cruftiness and duplicate/dead CSS.

I've done a "partial" site redesign that I think, once and for all, will fix this, though it sacrifices the calendar at the top for now (I may stick it back in later). Also, the redesign is "partial" because I don't have Photoshop with me. Once I do, I think I will change the banner at the top. The redesign is sitting on my laptop, waiting for some final tweaks and feedback before it is deployed, but I've posted a screenshot below.

Comments are appreciated. Apologies for the low-quality screenshot.
screenshot of partial redesign

February 12, 2004


meta's blogger or journaler? post got me thinking more about this site and it's intended audience. I've posted more about this in the extended entry, but I wanted to use the front page to ask this question, which is the reverse of meta's question:

What purpose does this site serve for you (blog/journal)? You don't have to answer in terms of blog/journal, simply state what do you want to see when you visit this site, and what don't you want to see. Be candid, and feel free to use examples. Negative examples are fine, though positive examples would be nice as well.

Continue reading "pensieves" »

February 8, 2004

Done reminiscing

I spent a lot of time beefing up the memorylane page on the other half of this Web site. I managed to recover four Web pages, some I didn't even recall, from old backups.

The memorylane section was originally intended to be a non-professional portfolio of all the Web pages that I've done, from high school to present day, and it still is, but I also found that as I wrote entries for the pages along this timeline, it took on the more personal connotation of the title; as I wrote about my high school page, I wrote a little bit about myself in high school, and for various pages along the way I was able to share some short anecdotes and recollections. The CS Circus and Powered by Arrogance pages were real nice gems that get to see the light of day once more, while others like Storefront Media still remain mostly unearthed, and I still need to recover the NMAA page I did my sophomore year in college. With the exception of my senior year of college, there is at least one, unique Web site representing each of year of my life from junior year in high school to present.

It's a bit strange that the only recounting of my life so far exists in a series of Web pages, and slightly older generations may be shocked that I can recount between the last third to half of my life using Web pages dating back to ~1995-6. Regardless, I find it nice to be able to go back and watch my 'growth' and juxtapose it within a medium that was nascent at the time I started making Web pages and has since grown extremely rapidly. Even the design of the pages at various points serve as interesting landmarks demonstrating my own technical ability and also the current generation of Web page design.

The slow evolutionary chain and incremental dialogue on my life within those old Web pages is finally broken by this site, both in the sheer amount of content (approaching 900 entries) as well as complexity of design enabled by Movable Type and a wireless connection. This dramatic jump makes me wonder what future improvements are possible. Perhaps the next step is the new community server and aggregation tools I'm playing with, which will give me the chance to interrelate my life experiences with those I spend my life with and turn the Web page monologue into a dialogue. I don't know what results I'll achieve, but for the first time I'm starting to cross the line between publisher and toolmaker, and I'm rather excited by this.

BTW, If you go through the pages, you might even be able to find the only three photos of myself on this site that I know of, all from high school (one only shows me from the neck down holding a stapler to someone's neck).

February 4, 2004

GoogleDot Effect

Yesterday I complained about the fact that Google image search for "gollum" was returning an image off my site. It quadrupled my outgoing bandwidth, but it was still within the capabilities of my DSL line. It could have been worse.

Take for example, these poor folks:
1) Google creates a Julia/Mandelbrot-themed fractal for its logo on its front page.
2) Google links this logo to an image search for "julia fractal".
3) Your site happens to be the top search result.
4) Abused by the heavy traffic, you put up a low-bandwidth page explaining your situation
5) Slashdot picks up the story, and links to you as well.

They are now the victims of the first ever "GoogleDot" effect.

The page they put up is here, but be nice and don't visit them for awhile :).

February 3, 2004

google, you're _too_ good to me

While I was sick, the traffic on this site suddenly quadrupled. Normally, this would be an exciting event for me, and make me wonder how I ever managed to be so clever, but it turns out that it was most likely because Google image search for "gollum" was returning a screencap off of this site (no, not the sketch you see here in this entry). Also, people were inlining the image in their Web pages straight from this site. It wasn't enough to hurt yet, but it was such a skew from the normal I had to take preventative action.

pqbon and this useful guide both deserve some Google juice; pqbon gets it for telling me that I could block the inlining practice using a .htaccess file, and the guide gets it for giving me specific instructions for using Apache's mod_rewrite to get it done. Two things that I wished the guide mentioned, though, were these two steps:

1) change AllowOverride None to AllowOverride All in httpd.conf so that .htaccess files are enabled
2) uncomment the load mod_rewrite line in httpd.conf so that the rewrite module is actually loaded

If this were four years ago when I was regularly editing httpd.conf, I probably would have remembered those two ditties, but my old age makes me forget things nowadays.

gollum sketchGoogle: It was an honor, really, to have such a cool search term top my lists. I brought back my Gollum sketch for this entry to keep me company now that all the Gollum fans won't be siphoning my bandwidth anymore. Please respider this page one last time, read my new robots.txt, and eviscerate that image from your brain.

Xanga people I don't even know: I'm sorry -- I know you can't upload photos, and I normally would't mind, but it was too much. Maybe xanga2mt will be of some use to you.

This page should show you what happens when you try to inline now: a tiny blue box.

January 31, 2004

MTMacro on this site

As I was putting up the new site stuff, I decided to collect some of the old category entries and summarize some of the macros that I use on this site for anyone who's interested in using the MTMacro plugin. It's one of the most important plugins on this site for keeping links up-to-date and keeping archive pages low-bandwidth.
Macros on this site backstage coming up

I've been wanting to do this for awhile after I read Brad Choate's Doing your whole site with MT. I already abuse Movable Type's powers to run my reading list, movie list, and wimpy powerpoint, so running everything on seemed pretty appealing (and useful too). It means that I can edit any page on my Web site from any Web browser, and it also means that I can use MT's templating powers to make design changes across the entire site.

You can see my results here. I chose the low-fi look as the content on it is mostly supplementary, like an appendix versus that actual book. Most of the content there is summarizations of posts to the '' category on this blog.

Here are some example pages:
About me
About this site

The nice, id-free URLs are a result of Brad Choate's tutorial.

January 12, 2004

Die Comment Spam!

After the most vicious attack to date, I finally caved in and installed MT-Blacklist v1.62. If the spammer were more intelligent, he should have stuck with leaving only one or two posts, as has occurred in the past. Instead, I was confronted with about 30 spams, which finally broke me. I should have broken much earlier, because MT Blacklist only took a minute to install, and would have saved me 10 minutes of deleting and rebuilding. It also seems really nicely designed.

January 4, 2004 zeitgeist

Google posted their year-end Zeitgeist, which is always a fun perspective on the content the Web provides. The Tour de France made the top ten, woohoo! Orlando Bloom made #3 on the popular men search, which is partly due to the efforts of metamanda (I wonder if they know to combine "elfin nugget" with his results yet).

I'm going to demonstrate some bad manners and post my own year-end stats here, not as an act of self-promotion (because the numbers are kinda pathetic), but because this is entry #800, and if there's ever a time to draw attention to yourself, nice multiples of a hundred are it. Also, I find it interesting to see how the number of visits to this site is steadily increasing even though the set of regular readers has not. This increase in hits is 99% due to search engine links. Apparently Google thinks I am an expert on Khleo generics (~300-400 searches/month), and my article mentioning YzDocklet is quickly gaining steam. Also, 61 people visited my site last month because the "Redskins Suck."

Unique Visitors 2003
May 2003: 280
Jun 2003: 709
Jul 2003: 1542
Aug 2003: 2160
Sep 2003: 3251
Oct 2003: 4237
Nov 2003: 4914
Dec 2003: 6129

Top Fifteen Search Topics Dec 2003
khleo generics/movie holes 364
statue venus london 145
ipod stuff 135
yzdock 118 78

atari adventure 71
cool inventions 62
redskins suck 61
terrell owens sharpie 51
frank gehry disney 51

internet blockers 45
wireless power 38
callipygous 35
photo stitch 33
stupid stuff 25

January 2, 2004

Johnny Five is Alive

After two trips to Fry's and about $500 is back up and running. I'm now on an Althon XP 2600 platform. I didn't want to take the time to figure out what exactly was busted to hell on the old platform (my hunch was either the memory or the memory controller on the motherboard) and I wanted to get things up again quickly, so I chose a mid-range upgrade that will probably be barely noticeable. The full list of improvements is:
- Althon XP 2600 (was Althon 1700)
- Gigabyte KT600 mobo
- 1GB of DDR PC3200 (DDR400) memory (was 768 PC2100)
- GeForce FX 5200 (I didn't want to do this, but the new board required AGP 4x/8x, and I figured at this point the money's already lost)

Windows is now telling me that I have to reactivate it. That's sad.

January 1, 2004

Open Thread

Open thread for feedback of any kind.

December 8, 2003

LJ logo

Chose a logo for my Live Journal comments. I decided to use one of my gollums for now because I didn't feel like searching the Web for one nor did I feel like breaking out the brush pen again to draw something new.


December 2, 2003

kwc blog in dreadful screenplay form

Web Screenplay for


Oh, KWC.ORG (KWC BLOG), do you think that I will ever find my true love? I am so lovelorn and sad. Surely, you, as my best friend, have some wisdom to offer


An IQ test I can actually score well on.

(via Kottke)

November 30, 2003


I've got way too much time on my hands so I went an did some brush sketches for some of my more recent entries. I had first done this with the Animal Farm entry, add I'll have to see how much time in the future I had to keep it up. I did a bunch of gollums in preparation for RoTK, but I feel like posting them now, so check out the extended extry if you want to see them.

Continue reading "Decoratin'" »

November 23, 2003

A fine thread has come to an end

I've had to close the Khleo Thomas fan club thread due to overwhelming popularity. While it greatly entertained, and slightly disturbed, me to read the admiration women have for him, the inability of the admirers to press the 'post' button a single time, instead of five, has given me reason to close the thread. The time spent cleaning up the thread has outweighed the amusement, so farewell Khleo Thomas Fan Club, I'll miss you.

November 13, 2003

Update to books category

The kMMS taught me some cool tricks that will save me some time in the future when I write book entries. I thought I'd post it here because I have witnessed other movable-typers struggling with the same issue, and this might save them a bit of time.

One of the things that can be time consuming when you write a book entry is including an image of the book. You either have to go to Amazon, search for the book, and copy the entry, or you use MTAmazon to generate the HTML and then copy it into the entry. Most recently I had been using MTAmazon + Macros

to add in an <amazon> tag that would do the image, but it was kinda klunky.

My latest method is a lot easier, and now uses MTAmazon + MT Plugin Directory: KeyValues. All I do is place the following text in the 'keywords' field:


which only requires me to look up the asin of the book, which I do anyway in order to maintain my reading list.

Continue reading "Update to books category" »

October 23, 2003

Reworked reading list

I redid the layout of the Reading list page. It has numerous errors, but it's good enough for now. Hopefully it should be easier to scan now.

October 21, 2003

Banned IPs

This is the list of currently banned IPs for this site. I've been receiving comment spam so I've taken to blocking the IP addresses directly. Maybe I'll switch to MTBlacklist soon:

October 11, 2003

Top Ten Search Phrases for September

I have nothing else to post, so I thought I would show off my stat-hoor side and list the top ten search phrases that lead people to this site in September (according to awstats). Hopefully, by listing these search terms I will reinforce their ranking and thus skew the results even more in their favor:

ultimate fantastic four (74)
the movie holes (46)
movie holes (41)
wavecrest bike (33)
picasso guitarist (32)
david statue (31)
internet blockers (29)
venus statue (28)
exoskeletons (27)
waterclock (24)

The top keyword for this site, excluding common words (of, the) was... 'japan'

October 9, 2003

At last, a logo

I've owned this domain for several years now, and I've finally gotten around to doing the logo for it. Funny how, after so many years, the logo was finished in about ten seconds as I was doodling with my new brush pen. I probably won't use the logo on this blog until I have enough time to redo everything. Click on the logo to see the "redesigned" front page. Perhaps a better term would be "undesigned."

September 13, 2003

Testing new site configuration

I've updated to mysql to try and speed up the authoring of this site as Berkeley DB couldn't keep up with the number of entries on this site. If you notice anything different, please let me know as that probably means that something is wrong. Thanks!

August 15, 2003


I'm approaching entry #500 (this is entry #498), so I thought it's a good point to stop and ask anyone who's actually reading this site to do a quick ping. So, as a benefit to me, if you could leave a quick comment on this entry, I would appreciate it. You don't even have to leave your name if you don't want to, though try not to comment twice if you do :).

July 30, 2003

New Category: Japan Class Notes

I was going through my memorylane section of the main site and discovered a bunch of class notes lying around from a couple of Japanese history classes that I had taken. There's interesting stuff about Samurai, World War II, Feudalism and other cool stuff. The notes are all transcribed from lectures, so the organization and flow is a bit rough.
- Japan: Class Notes

Update: category renamed to 'Japan'

June 11, 2003

Best Bookmarklet Bar None

If you've ever had to watch the person next to you on the couch edit the CSS of her site for hours on end, you might have scored big points by having her use this bookmarklet (edit styles). Try it out on my site (and tell me if you come up with something cool).

This, and so much more at: Jesse's Bookmarklets Site

June 9, 2003

Entry 300

Ladies and Gentleman, Entry 300!!! *applause*

I had a tough time choosing the appropriate posting for my three readers, and hell, you each have hundred entries each you can read so what does one more matter, but I ended up choosing this little ditty from my Stanford application. I don't remember the question, but I know this is what I wrote (Amanda, any ideas as to what they were asking?):

There's something I have to get off my chest. I'm pretty ashamed of it. I don't like seafood. In fact, I hate it. So, what's so strange about that? Well, my mother's Japanese. In fact, I was born in Japan, spent 7 years living there, have studied Japanese for five years, am president of the Japanese National Honor Society, am a member of Asian Awareness, and have won two second place trophies in the Japan Bowl . Yet, for all my attempts to connect with part of my heritage I am resigned to the fact that I will never, never, be able to enjoy dinner at my grandmother's house in Japan.

The mere fact that I wrote this for a college application made it worthy of posting. Notice the thinly veiled attempt to fit in every Asian-related club/accomplishment I had in high school. Note the hapa tension, the Asian guilt, the academic hubris. I'm quite proud of myself, and also sick at the same time.

June 7, 2003

BookQueue up and running

I got another great plugin up and running: BookQueue. This is perhaps one of the best done plugins I've seen yet. Even if you don't have a CueCat, the management interface is really sweet. I only wish that Macros had a similar interface for global macros. I may have to learn Perl just so I can use the plugin to manage other lists.

TopicIcon up and running

Just got the topic icon plugin up and running. I'm using it for an extremely frivolous use: I wanted to have a little colored box next to 'Posted,' and I needed some mechanism for making it different colors for different posts.

This plugin was a little harder to install than the others b/c the documentation neglected to mention that you need to embed it in a MTEntryCategories tag (or, at least, I could not get it working until I did it this way).

June 6, 2003

Macro test

I've just installed Brad Choate's IfEmpty and Macros plugins, as well as MTAmazon (BTW: you can get your developer token here). In the extended entry I describe/test a couple of these out.

Continue reading "Macro test" »

About this Site

Continue reading "About this Site" »

June 1, 2003

Only a couple things left

The site redesign is almost finished (after stealing some know-how from Amanda). Just need to tweak the colors and also add in some plugins to the link bar (mtamazon, mtlink, rss feeds).

May 29, 2003

Backposting in progress

I'm slowly updating my blog with past journal entries that I have lying around on 4 separate computers. It's a slow process. I'll first be posting a lot of "Etc..." news entries, as those are the quickest to transcribe. The Etc... entries are important to me as I like to have the juxtaposition of world events against other entries.

Hopefully, as I get further along I'll be posting more interesting links/entries. One thing that is slowing me down is copyright issues - i.e. I have cached copies of some interesting articles, but I have to track down a current valid link if I'm going to post it. Some of them (i.e. comics) are not likely to make an appearance unfortunately, as most comics don't maintain long archives. The hardest entries to post will be ones that only exist on paper, and those will most likely be last.

May 23, 2003

Site redesign in progress

Now that Bryan and Amanda both have Movable Type weblogs, I feel compelled to redesign this site to look different. If you notice any display problems in your browser, please send me a comment. Thanks!

BTW: this is the "template" for the current redesign:
It's a photoshopped image of a photo I took at the Bellagio in Vegas.

BTW2: the calendar bar is partly inspired by Tufte's Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Although you lose information such as day-of-week from the redesign, I like the fact that it gives you a good idea of frequency.

MT Fever

Bryan and Amanda are now playing with Movable Type also. I've found Bryan's Weblog on his site, but I haven't found Amanda's yet (tricksy hobbit).

Update: the tricksy hobbit has posted her marathon blog and her general blog.

May 19, 2003

Movable Type Todo

Now that I've searched the web and seen all the cool things that Movable Type can do, here are some extensions I'm considering to this site:

- upgrading the layout templates
- category-based listing
- MTAmazon plugin
- TikiText
- rss feed plugin to import content from sites i like
- weather plugin

For the last two I'll have to figure out how to do periodic rebuilds of the main index.

May 8, 2003

First Post

Finally got Movable Type up and running on I need to get ImageMagick installed, but otherwise all is well. I'll have to figure out what I want to do with this site. More importantly, I have a bunch of content that I would like to import, but I have to figure out how to blog retroactively, i.e. I would have one of the few blogs on the Web that would be running backwards in time. Anyways, it's late, and this is enough for now.

For those of you interested in this setup, here's what it is:
- Apache 2.x
- Movable Type 2.62 (had to modify all of the .cgi scripts to not point at /usr/bin/perl)
- ActiveState Perl
- DB File module for Berkeley DB

Movable Type doesn't have the simplest installer, but its not too hard to fix everything up.

May 7, 2003

Time Travelling

This is a test of the time travelling mechanism. If you start seeing posts appear before the "First Post" it is because I am now trying to post older entries that were never blogged.

what is this?

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to kwc blog in the category.

Japan is the previous category.

Links is the next category.

Current entries can be found on the main page.