Chill Out and Call Me

Posted in What? on January 7th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: According to the Weather Network, this is life in Edmonton late next week.

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:: Is there anyone out there who wants to Skype with me? Please?

Purging

Posted in Miscellaneous on January 5th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Over the Christmas break, I had planned to begin purging my house of excessive “stuff”: papers, curios, objects, junk, magazines, clothes, utinsels, tools, whatever. I made minor progress in one of the three rooms upstairs in my house, albeit the one requiring the most work, my office. What I learned is that such projects take a long, long time to complete. I’d be sorting through said stuff, and inevitably take too much time to examine every single item, wondering “Do I want to keep this, or is it ok to get rid of it? Wait, what if I want to read it again in 13 years?” And on it went. A 1980 issue of Rolling Stone was in my filing cabinet, kept this long because it had a review of Gaucho, and an accompanying article on Steely Dan. Did I need to keep it another 25 years? I reread the two pieces, and passed it on to a friend, advising him not to return it.

I shredded enough paper to fill three blue bags, and boxed some magazines and papers, which I moved to the basement. I know, that’s not purging (it’s shifting, I suppose) but the room is getting spacious again.

What is hardest to admit is that there is much, much more to be eliminated. My plan is to try to finish the first sweep of this room, and then get to the other two upstairs bedrooms, which will not require as much work. In those rooms, the material to be purged will be mostly clothing, which will be recycled to Goodwill.

There is always too much to do. I have music to rehearse for an acoustic concert in February, a new tune to work on for the rock band, and I haven’t been to the Y in six days. My favorite TV shows are back on the air, and 24 begins 24 straight episodes starting this Sunday. Ack.

Night Vision

Posted in Photography on January 5th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

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The very foggy view from Wayne Gretzky Drive in Edmonton, Monday, 3 January 2005, 2145 hrs, driving on the Capilano Bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.

Guide For Fighting Comment Spam

Posted in Blogging on January 4th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Sick and tired of comment spam like everyone else? Jay Allen, creator of MT-Blacklist and Six Apart, have released tbe Six Apart Guide For Fighting Comment Spam, also available in PDF format

:The guide covers many of the concepts and tools available to fight comment spam and explains the strengths and weaknesses that we’ve seen of each. We also included our “best practices” recommendations for not only keeping spam off of your site, but making sure that you and your readers have the best possible experience. The document is intended to be a fairly comprehensive, living document which will change and grow over time to reflect the changing nature of the topic.

Jay’s brilliant creation, MT-Blacklist, is now embedded in the latest version(s) of Moveable Type. Since downloading and installing the newest versions in mid-November, 2004, MT-Blacklist has blocked 12,811 comment spam. We love Jay Allen.

:: Martha Stewart’s team fails to claim victory in prison decorating contest. Armageddon is near.

Gotta Get My Stuff Done

Posted in Miscellaneous on January 4th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: I have been off work since December 18th, with the exception of December 20th. I had planned to do some major house cleaning and purging, but have made it through part of one room only. I was back at work today, in the sub-zero, bone-numbing city in which I live.

Derryl sent a link to this short animation, Gotta Get My Stuff Done, which while funny, also illustrates in the simplest of presentations, how we can rationalize not doing the stuff that needs to be done.

Tsunami 2

Posted in Miscellaneous on January 2nd 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: A week ago, we were first hearing of the tsunami. I recall the first time I heard something on the news, that 4,000 people were presumed dead. Seven days later, I find it very difficult to process what has happened.

Three weeks after September 11th, 2001, The Onion published its second issue since that fateful day. The cover story featured a composite picture of various pop culture icons and newsmakers of the moment, with the headline, “A Shattered Nation Longs To Care About Stupid Bullshit Again.” My tolerance for stoopid bullshit continues to decline on a daily basis, and in the past week, has hit an all-time low. I watch no so-called reality shows, and when I see an ad for one, I reach for the mute and/or channel buttons as fast as humanly possible. Who can give a rat’s ass about the next Survivor, Insert-Name-of-Country-Here Idol, or The Apprentice? Perhaps for some, shows like these are a diversion. But what they represent is so infinitely distant from anything that really matters.

What is critical right now is contributing to help those in need. In Canada, the Canadian Government will match donations by citizens until mid-January:

Until the UN donor conference in mid-January, when needs will be reassessed, the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency is matching dollar for dollar contributions that individuals make to recognized Canadian non-government organizations already involved in responding to the disaster in South and Southeast Asia. Some of these organizations include:

* Canadian Red Cross
* World Vision Canada
* Doctors Without Borders
* Oxfam Canada
* Oxfam Quebec (French only)
* CARE Canada
* UNICEF Canada
* Development and Peace
* Save the Children

Please donate if you haven’t already.

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