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May
29
2004
1 comment
In a fit of superspeed programming, I put together twelve lines of code that wil give you all a little insight into my eBay sales.

See, eBay has something called a 'gallery' listing, which lets you put a tiny picture next to the title of the auction in a search. Most people reuse the same picture they put in the auction, which ends up shrunk to the point of illegibility.

I, on the other hand, edit a eye-catching part of my item (sometimes a custom picture altogether), cropped and resized to eBay's proportions. It's a marketing ploy, hopefully catching a buyer who might otherwise overlook my auction.

Because I host all my own images, I still have everything, even for closed auctions. The code I talked about above pulls out all the 'gallery' icon images, in chronological order, and links to a full-sized picture of the item (in case it's not immediately evident). Even an eBay auction can be artistic! Keep checking back; it'll grow as I list more items.



May
27
2004
2 comments
Day before yesterday, at the much-traversed I Am... website, one dutiful writer posted this:

I am bored with derek's site.
Desperately seeking new blog

I'm not too concerned about critics in general, but I'm sorta my own downfall here: I Am forces brevity and anonimity, so the writer couldn't elaborate, nor can I ask the writer for more info. It makes me wonder, though: why am I boring?

When I started 11111001111, my writings were longer, more like my columns at Backwash. Then, they became shorter, but more observational and insightful. As of late, I've muttered around about my work, and little else. Oh, and my beloved Fargo police blotter, but that's not saying much. Lately I've been trying to update things a bit more, to get back in the practice.

Maybe I'm asking you readers, who still read my stuff (which, incidentally, is still a rather high number, compared to most blogs). Why am I boring -- should I be doing the "links and commentary" like most blogs do? Should I fill in like a diary daily? Maybe something risque? Or just be more like before, trying to watch the world around me for something to write about? If you've got requests, reminiscience of past pleasures, or comments, mention 'em here.



May
21
2004
1 comment
Sad news today: Gerbil has died.

He passed away yesterday, 5/19/04, sometime after noon. He had been up and around in the morning, but the paper tube I put in his cage at around 6pm was untouched. That's what tipped me off this morning: nothing goes unchewed in his cage overnight.

I found him curled up in his nest, as though he were sleeping. Two years, eight months is still a respectable age for a little fuzzy guy, but I was nearly devastated to hold his soft furry body. I've got a weak spot for pets, and gerbil is a special one: he's Destiny's first pet, the first one she picked out herself, took care of on her own, and could actually play with.

So, D and I were understandably concerned about how Destiny would handle it; we had no frame of reference, and it's hard to tell how a 7-year-old understands.

Her first reaction was very 7-year-old, "Can we guy a new one?" She seemed sad, but I don't think it really registered until it was time to bury him.

We'd long-ago made arrangements to bury him at Grandma Kathy's house (originally due to apartment-living), and Des opted to keep those arrangements. A proper burial plot was chosen beneath a honeysucke bush, and I dug a little hole. Des didn't like the idea of burying him in a box or wrapped in anything, so we planted him as-is. I laid him in the hole, and shoveled a few piled on top while Grandma and Destiny picked out seedlings. We planted two snapdragons and a couple other foliage plants on top of gerbil's resting place, packed the remaining dirt around them, and placed a round rock as a headstone. D and Allie were present, and handling the event in their own ways. Everyone discussed what "Gerbil Heaven" was like: Some suggested that it was full of the tastiest toilet-paper tubes, or full of sunflower seeds, or was perfect for mocking felines from a safe distance. Destiny became choked up as we finished, and I whispered, "it's OK to cry, I did earlier."

Later, as I was helping Des in the bath (she can't wash her long hair on her own), we talked about gerbil again. She wondered what gerbil was doing right now in gerbil-heaven.

I said, "Well, in gerbil-heaven he can do whatever he likes the best."

Without missing a beat, Des said:

"I'll bet he's running around on the kitchen table, playing with me."



May
13
2004
4 comments
Best of the Fargo Police Blotter for 5/9/04:

05/09/2004 14:53:25
SU

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/ACTIVITY

COMPL'S KIDS FOUND A HUMAN ARM WITH PART OF A SHIRT ON IT COMPL SAID IT'S DOWN IN A CULVERT AND HE'LL FLAG OFFICER DOWN

100 BLK 11 AVE N

Now, I could make a wood-chipper joke, but how disturbing is this? 11th Avenue North is a nice area of town: close to the river, lots of single-family homes, baseball diamonds and bike paths. Oh, yeah, and if you're the guy who's looking for his freakin' arm, check with the police, I think they're holding it for you.



May
11
2004
0 comments
Derek Is Reading:


Open Here: The Art of Instructional Design

Yes - I'm a packrat. Honestly, I do have boxes full of instructions for models I've built, toys I've assembled, and Lego projects that are long diffused into each other. I love the visual instructional style - explaining how something is built in the minimum of words. This great book (in the Barnes & Noble discount rack for $4.95) is a compilation of beautiful, horrible, interesting, and downright intriguing visual instructions, from condoms to toothbrushes to automobiles.



May
11
2004
1 comment
Fans, here's some reciprocal link enjoyment: J-Walk Blog linked to Voices From The Thriftshop. Also, this website linked Voices with the non-English phrase "Glemte stemmer". A couple days ago, dbates linked Voices here. After months of no activity over there, it's nice to see new acknowledgement...it might intice me to actually add more recordings, of which I have boxes of around here. Yes, BOXES. It's a timeconsuming process, so it gets put on the back burner, unfortunately...



May
10
2004
0 comments
Hey, everybody look! I actually updated a website of my own -- Thingsville, US has a new entry! Tom and Susan, courtesy of Popular Science, explore the wide world of simple machines in this old filmstrip, finding themselves and a forbidden love along the way.





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