Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, April 30, 2003 6:00 pm

More overheard conversation snippets I’d rather not know anything about

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 6:00 pm

“I told you not to take her to a play date in Toronto!”

Raise a child up in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not stray from it.

Filed under: Why, yes, I AM a bad parent. Why do you ask? — Lex @ 12:54 pm

Hey, Hooper?

Yah?

Guess what?

Ida know.

Mommy and Sissy are going to the beach this weekend. They’re going down to Mims’ beach house for the girls’ beach weekend and they’re gonna see Aunt Kathy and Meg and Aunt Susan and Taylor and Jordan and Whitney and it’s gonna be just girls.

Yah.

Except when Pop comes down for his friend’s 75th birthday party. But Mims says she’ll keep him in the closet the rest of the time.

OK.

So, you know what you and Daddy are gonna do while Mommy and Sissy are at the beach?

What?

We’re gonna have a boys’ weekend right here at the house!

Yah!

Except for when we’re sleeping or shooting hoops or playing at the park, we’re gonna sit on the couch and eat junk food and drink beer — well, you’ll drink milk — and watch baseball games and DVDs and snort and scratch and [pass gas]! It’ll be fun! Whaddaya think?

YAH!

Tuesday, April 29, 2003 12:26 pm

Uh, no, not a truck

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 12:26 pm

I got about half waked up around 5 a.m. today by some rumbling. I thought at first that it was the concrete truck that’s supposed to be coming today to widen the driveway. Then I thought it might be the city garbage truck that was supposed to pick up the four bags of household garbage I left out yesterday, but didn’t. Then I stopped thinking about it and went back to sleep.

Turns out it was an earthquake. Hundreds of miles away, yet.

Damn.

Monday, April 28, 2003 9:09 pm

The blogvel continues

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:09 pm

Fresh from her trip to the Aegean, Girl-E knocks out Part 5 of the blogvel here (April 28 entry).

Picking fresh servers right off the tree

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 9:07 pm

Sales of servers increased 10.4 percent in the first quarter of 2003.

Hmm. Maybe I’m in the wrong bidness. Maybe I should quit newspapers, buy a piece of land and start a server farm. After all, goodness grows in North Carolina.

Or is my business plan flawed?

(UPDATE, February 2007: No, for once, my business plan was darned near flawless.)

Win some, lose some

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 9:06 pm

I am delighted to announce that Hooper used the potty this morning for the first time. He did. Afterward, there were congratulations and high-fives all the way around.

Of course, he owed us. Last night, after he, Victoria and a friend of V’s were unceremoniously (and collectively) dumped into the downstairs bathtub after blundering into some poison ivy, he peed on the girls.

Can I get an “OH, yeah!”?

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 10:03 am

My man Mark nailed it: The HotorNot script was the culprit. I’ve dispatched it into the cyberether. Y’all enjoy, now, y’hear?

Let’s see if this works

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 7:18 am

OK, speedloading fans, I’ve whacked a number of the most recent server images (Quizilla stuff, mainly) and whacked the posts on the main page from seven days’ worth to four. Is this page loading any faster?

Sunday, April 27, 2003 10:14 pm

Once more into the breach. Or breech. Or bench. Whatever.

I think I mentioned once before, although I’m too tired to go look for the permalink, that I get called up for jury duty pretty regularly. It has happened again.

Jury duty isn’t as bad here in N.C. as it once was. We’ve switched to the 1-day-or-1-trial system, which is good, and here in Greensboro there’s free parking, although I’ll probably just park at the office and walk, especially if it’s a nice day.

But in other respects, they’re bumming me out, man.

For one thing, they’re saying, “DO NOT BRING CHILDREN TO THE JURY ASSEMBLY ROOM WHEN REPORTING FOR JURY SERVICES.” Even though you know the other 150 or so people would really appreciate Victoria and Hooper’s beauty, wit and charm.

For another thing, they’re getting all stuffy on me: “Appropriate dress is required.” I mean, my God, if you can’t wear inappropriate dress in a jury box, then what’s the point of calling yourself a free country?

And, finally, the ultimate buzz kill:

ABSOLUTELY NO WEAPONS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COURTHOUSE.
I mean, where’s the fun in that?

Friday, April 25, 2003 8:28 pm

More housekeeping

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 8:28 pm

A couple of you (i.e., probably 66.7% of my readership) have e-mailed to say that the page is taking a long time to load, or, in one case, not ever loading at all.

I’m not sure why.

I tried getting rid of the Blogrolling javascript and the “new” *.gifs to see if that would help, but it didn’t. I’m kind of puzzled because this is a pretty low-caliber site, loadingwise; the only other things I’ve got in here are a couple of other javascripts (hit counter, comments), none of which have caused problems before, and plain-vanilla HTML 1.0 text.

If anyone has any suggestions, I’m wide open.

Thursday, April 24, 2003 10:11 pm

Bumper sticker du jour

Filed under: Quote Of The Day — Lex @ 10:11 pm

“Aristocracy: Been there, done that, fled to New World.”

And so it begins

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 7:05 am

Victoria, 10 minutes into her first solo shower: “This feels really good. I’m never coming out!”

Warning: blasphemy alert!

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 7:01 am

I don’t IM (instant-message) very much, but even when I do, I seldom — and more’s the pity, that — have chat sessions such as this one between Julia (the “me” in the transcript) and her friend CW:

me: i was all set to fly down to atlanta and just show up at m’s dinner party and surprise you guys, but then i realized that it’s this saturday, which is the day before easter, so that hosed that.

cw: bummer. i hate it when religious holidays interfere with social gatherings.

me: me, too. i mean, way to rise again on the third day and screw up my plans to fly down to atlanta and surprise my friends. nice job with that.

cw: absolutely. you’d think they would have planned better. you know, that they would have seen that type of scheduling conflict coming.

me: no doubt. i mean, so much for all that omniscient stuff. omniscient my ass.

Now you see why Julia gets invited to contribute to all the kewl blogvels.

Well, that and exchanges like this with her mother:

… remember that time grandpa died?”

“yes, honey, as a matter of fact, i do remember that one time grandpa died. now, quit stalling.”

“well, i wrote about how i spilled him in the volare and you swept him up in the dust buster.”

“holy s—!* you did not write that! you did not tell anyone about that! total strangers know about that?! oh my god, oh my god. i can’t believe you told people about that!”

*My editing, not hers.

Now, my family has known about this blog pretty much from Day 1. I mean, who the hell else would read it, right? So that just automatically rules out even the possibility of exchanges like this.

For me, anyway. Now, go read and enjoy.

“Just give me the damn ball!”

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:57 am

The 4-year-old daughter of one of our co-workers scored five — count ‘em, five — goals in a soccer game this past weekend.

How? Well, for one thing, every time one of her teammates tried to get the ball from her, she elbowed ‘em away. Apparently it’s not a penalty if you elbow your own teammate.

As for me, I didn’t know that the laws of Newtonian physics even made it possible for a total of five goals to be scored in a soccer game. Which is another way of saying that I find the game boring. But my own 4-year-old might be playing sometime soon, so I guess I should get used to it.

I’ll advise her, however, against elbowing her own teammates.

Not only can he talk, he tells the truth

In barely a month, Hooper has progressed from single words to compound sentences. Among them was this morning’s gem at the breakfast table:

Aw, man — I pooped!

And aw, man, he was not lying.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003 12:25 pm

A bit of Blog on the Run housekeeping

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 12:25 pm

See the nifty, Blogrolling-powered list of links to the left? Notice that at any given time, several of the links are followed by the icon, indicating that they’ve been updated within the past two hours. For that to happen, whoever writes the blog has to manually or automatically “ping,” or send a signal to, Weblogs.com to indicate that he/she has just changed the blog.

If you’re not automatically doing that — some blogging tools, such as Radio UserLand and Manila, automatically ping Weblogs.com when a user updates his blog, but others, such as Blogger, do not — you can ping manually by bookmarking this page and then refreshing and submitting it after you’ve updated your blog. It will check to make sure your blog has indeed changed and then it will report that fact to my site (and everyone else’s who uses blogrolling.com to manage their blog links). Two caveats: 1) If your blog hasn’t changed, Weblogs.com won’t report a change. 2) You can only ping once every 5 minutes or else Weblogs.com will ignore your second and any subsequent pings.

One other housekeeping note regarding the blog links: I’m still experimenting (in my, um, vast spare time) with blogrolling.com’s free service, so I’m not sure yet whether I can bundle the links into related groups as I did manually until recently. If so, I will. (A couple of you have requested that.)

Send any other suggestions to the e-mail link to the left, or leave a comment below. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 22, 2003 9:49 pm

Sex-ed for toddlers, or, Gimme a break, she’s not even 5 yet

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 9:49 pm

Victoria: Daddy, where was I before I was in Mommy’s tummy?

Me: In Heaven.

V: But how’d I get here?

Me: You started out as a gleam in Daddy’s eye.

V: I know, but which eye was I a gleam in?

Me: Both of them, sweetie.

V: Was it hard to see?

Me: Sweetie, for a while there I couldn’t see anything else.

V: (giggles) That’s funny.

Me: Yeah, Mommy thought so, too.

Happy birthday to me … or my blog

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 12:35 pm

Blog On the Run was born a year ago today. I’d like to thank the literally threes of daily visitors for making it the feared and respected Force of the Blogiverse that it has become.

(Waits for laughter. Hearing none, proceeds.)

With the benefit of a year of hindsight, here are some of the things I’ve learned about you, me and blogging:

  • I actually blogged once before … a randomly updated site, coded with Windows Notepad, dealing with developments while Ann was pregnant with Victoria in 1997-98. I didn’t know what it was called then, but that’s what it was. Once again, I was ahead of the curve without even knowing it.
  • This blog is a writing outlet for me, but an imperfect one. For one thing, it’s limited to a particular kind of writing: hurried, not completely revelatory nonfiction. For another, my daughter is learning to read and no doubt will be visiting here soon, so I’ve always tried to keep it PG-13 even when the subject cries out for a different approach. For still another, my employer is the 800-pound gorilla in the corner — not that it has ever said anything about the blog, for good or ill, but it’s something I always have to think about before posting. I won’t publicly criticize my employer, even if I have cause, because I wasn’t brought up that way. And I try very hard not to take any position that might compromise my or my employer’s real or perceived ability to function fairly and accurately. Sometimes that involves biting my tongue ’til the blood runs down my chin, but what the hey. It’s only blood; I can make more. Besides, pain heals and chicks dig scars, as Keanu Reeves once observed.
  • You never know what’s going to trip people’s triggers. Sometimes the (to me) most banal observations draw the most comments or e-mail.
  • There are good people in the Blogiverse, some of whom I’ll probably never meet in real life. That’s a shame, but I figure meeting them online is better than nothing. And when I say good, I don’t just mean “good” as in virtuous; I also mean “good” as in providing helpful feedback, comments and questions that allow me to sharpen my thinking much as a good editor would do. In particular, R. Alex, Vectorgirl, Chip ‘n’ Shannon, Sedalina, Phred, Bruce Rheinstein, Page Turner and Beau need to take a bow.
  • I’m a better-than-competent journalist/essayist (not that what I fling against the wall here reflects that, or is even meant to), but some of the writers I’ve stumbled across just blow me away. They challenge me to get better, and I’d seldom had that kind of challenge in the 3-4 years leading up to when I started blogging.
  • My blog is not a theme blog, which is kind of a shame because all other things being equal, I think theme blogs work better (e.g., This Fish Needs a Bicycle, before Fish finally dumped J. and moved on to, one hopes, better bicycles). One notable exception: Que Sera Sera. Sarah B’s only theme is herself, and that seems to work fine for her. Some days, such as her recent post on her grief after the death of a close friend, it appears to work for the entire known universe.
  • Most war/political blogs bore me to tears.
  • That said, blogs have demonstrated the ability to, if not break a story, at least keep it floating long enough for the major mainstream media to snag it and run with it. (I’m sure I’ll hear from people who say Drudge breaks stuff all the time, but until Drudge approaches the accuracy level of mainstream media, I’m not counting him.) In some cases — that of Trent Lott, say — that makes a difference. In others, such as Howard Coble’s, it really doesn’t. (And I suspect the difference has much more to do with the personal popularity of those respective politicians than with anything bloggers, or journalists, did or didn’t do.)
  • Y’all are a patient lot. I get repeated visits from people (or computers) I don’t know in time zones I’ve never visited, and they keep coming back no matter how good or bad my day’s offerings are, no matter whether or when I take unannounced days or long weekends away from blogging.

I’ve learned other things, too, but I won’t bore you with them. Besides, enough about me. If you don’t already have a blog of your own, start one. Real or fictional, under your real name or under a pseudonym, whatever. (If you’re not sure how to start, go to Blogger and just follow the directions.

You’ll learn stuff, too. postCountTB(‘93054569′);

Thursday, April 17, 2003 10:33 pm

Dinner conversation

Filed under: Why, yes, I AM a bad parent. Why do you ask? — Lex @ 10:33 pm

VICTORIA’S FRIEND K.: What are you doing?

ME: Squeezing a lime into my beer.

K: Why?

ME: Because it tastes good. Ask your dad.

K: I think it tastes yucky.

ME: That’s OK, sweetie. You can go on thinking that right up until you turn 21. Maybe longer.

K: Are you 21?

ME: Oh, yeah. In fact, I’ve been 21 twice. And I’m working on my third time.

K: How old are you?

ME: I’m 43.

K: That’s old.

ME: That’s older than dirt.

K: You’re older than dirt?

ME: Ayep. Now eat your chicken fingers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003 10:26 pm

This might be the best parenting I do. Which is scary, I admit, but still.

Filed under: Why, yes, I AM a bad parent. Why do you ask? — Lex @ 10:26 pm

“I hate you, I hate you, I hate you! You’re not my daddy! I don’t love you!”

“That’s OK, sweetie, I love you.”

UPDATE: Bzzzzzzt!! Wrong answer, says my friend Janet, who adds:

“The correct answer is — ‘If I died tomorrow you’d feel pretty sorry that you said that!'”

Uh, not so much

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 7:20 pm

Remember when I blogged that Afghanistan and Israel were going to normalize relations?

Apparently it isn’t true after all.

But if Afghanistan is ever going to have a better future, perhaps it should be.

Weird things my wife tells me, Part 658

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 7:14 pm

“I just checked with the National Association of Securities Dealers on your dad, and you’ll be glad to know he has no outstanding complaints or actions against him.”

Well. OK, then.

Blogvel update

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 7:05 am

Greetings, everyone who has been following the progress of the as-yet-untitled blogvel, and a special welcome to all the folks who have made it here from Tequila Mockingbird. I’m up, but it’ll be next week at the earliest before I get my installment done. Have some more important things to do first, like hiding Easter eggs for the kids.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 15, 2003 7:27 am

C’mon, people, now, smile on your brother …

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 7:27 am

Guess what: Afghanistan has approached Israel about normalizing diplomatic relations. No, really. [Free reg. req.]

Although, as Amish Tech Support points out, next to what the Arab world offers to a country trying to drag itself into the 21st century, Israel must look pretty good.

Saturday, April 12, 2003 1:06 pm

My? first? novel

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 1:06 pm

I’ve tried not to do anything too self-consciously “bloggy” with this site (i.e., anything either too self-referential or too navel-gazing with respect to the phenomenon of blogging), but this was too weird to pass up:

I’ve been invited to join a group of bloggers who are serially writing a novel.

Vectorgirl, who got the idea, calls it a “blogvel”; me, I’m looking for a better word than that, but hey. Anyway, she has the first installment on her blog, here.

Then CW has the next installment on Witt and Wisdom, here.

Then Julia will have the third installment on Tequila Mockingbird, here.

I’m after Julia. I’m not sure yet who’s after me, although VG is supposed to let me know. (If no one, I guess it rotates back to VG.)

This could be entertaining. Or, as Alannis says, it could get messy. Either way, it’s new and different.

Disclaimer: I know I said earlier that everything on this blog is true to the best of my knowledge and belief, even though it might not be the whole truth. That, of course, does not apply to those posts clearly labeled fiction, y’morons. Just so you know.

Cue ominous music

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:40 am

Could this be the end of Amish Tech Support??

UPDATE: He’s back — and badder than ever!

She’s doin’ a brand-new dance, now …

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 10:30 am

Eva Narcissus Boyd, a teenager known as Little Eva when her first recording, “The Loco-motion,” hit No. 1 in 1962, died Thursday in Kinston, N.C., after a long illness, her manager said.

Thursday, April 10, 2003 10:23 pm

It runs in the family

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:23 pm

My brother Hugh raises this question: “What if Saddam escaped but had a leg shot off? Can you imagine how p****d all his doubles would be?”

Street-cred crisis

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:22 pm

Man. I don’t own a single thing that’s phat.

The next reality-TV hit

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:21 pm

Mimi Smartypants has an awesome idea for a new reality-TV show: Kindergarten Justice. (Scroll down to the graf beginning with that phrase.) As the father of a soon-to-be-kindergartner, I think this has “hit” written all over it.

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