Blog Tag

I'm apparently "it"--Eric Ward got me. This is a viral game of tag in which a blogger tags five others they know, you write five things most people don't know about you, and then you tag five other bloggers. I'm in.

Five things:

1. I am obsessed by The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.

2. I was a big fan of HO trains when I was a kid, but never built a full-on layout. I am looking forward to the re-mergence of electric trains in our household when Ben and #2-on-the-way are big enough.

3. I have a degree in art, of all things. Graphic design in particular.

4. Just ask me to recite "The Walrus and The Carpenter." Seriously. Just ask me.

5. My favorite doggerel to sing to my son Ben is a song of my own composition which goes as follows. "Benji, Benji, boo boo boo, Benji, Benji, boo."

I now tag the following five victims: Jeff Carlson, John Holbo, Cyrus Farivar, Joshua Benton, and David Weinberger.

40 Year Old Train Wreck

Lynn and I watched The 40-Year-Old Virgin last night, which was funny and at times charming, and worth watching, but was remarkable for its tedium, length, and poor editing. The movie had at least four different movies in it: a teenage sex romp rewritten with actors supposed to be from mid-20s to 40; a small film about a guy growing up; a movie about a woman who has made many errors in her life and finally is getting her act together; and a 70s movie.

The movie veered from a relatively reasonable portrayal of a guy who, due to funny problems with girlfriends and dates, had turned his sexual interest into obsessive hobbies (playing a brass instrument, painting tiny figurines, collecting action figures, and so on). Great line: "Is that Steve Austin's boss?" "Oscar Goldman, yes."

I'm unclear why so many people liked the movie since it felt more like those weird little cereal packs you could get for travel that had Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, and so forth. None would be that satisfying, but it was fun to have a little bit of each in variety.

The amount of swearing in the film was pretty astounding. In fact, I think David Mamet movies and plays have much less obscenity, and much of less of it gratuitous.

Less Laptop Enthusiasm in Schools

Alexandria, Virg., doesn't view laptops for every student in a high school as unalloyed joy. As usual, those trying to gain or continue funding state vague, unsupported details about advancement. I love how Don Knezek, chief executive of the International Society of Technology Education "cited statewide programs in Maine and Michigan, among others," which is hilarious, because every single result I've seen out of Maine--including in-depth studies--has inconclusive or subjective results.

And, as usual, teacher training has come long after computer deployment. "...some teachers say they have felt pressured to emphasize laptops, even when using them might not be the best approach."

24-Hour Pharmacies in Seattle

Lynn and I needed to fill a prescription for Ben on Sunday night at 7 pm, and some pharmacies close early on Sundays or weekends. We did quickly find that Bartell's in University Village is open until 9 pm, but none of the staff at the nearby QFC (at the service booth) or either of the on-duty pharmacists at Bartell's could easily tell us where we would find a 24-hour pharmacy in Seattle. They suggested, but didn't know.

I had thought it was a law or practice that every pharmacy, when closed, had the name, address, and phone number of the nearest 24-hour pharmacy. It seems logical to do so, because if you can't fill the prescription, it likely means someone really needs it. It shouldn't be a competitive issue. But apparently that's not the case.

Herewith, I'm listing the 24-hour pharmacies I've found in Seattle, and I hope if others find this post, they will add additional information in the comments.

Bartell Drugs, Queen Anne: 600 First Ave. N. (map), pharmacy 206-284-1354. This is the only 24-hour Bartell in Seattle of any kind.

Walgreens, Ballard: 5409 15th Ave. NW (map), pharmacy 206-781-0056.

Uh...that's it. Help?

Take Control of Your Domain Names

My latest ebook is out, covering the knotty and irritating topic of picking a domain name, registering, and getting a Web site and email working for that domain. The topic is one that I have some experience with, having registered my first domains back in 1994 for an early Web hosting company I co-founded. (A lot of those early domains wound up being generic names that various owners, including me, sold for moderate to extremely large sums in the intervening years.)

The book explains DNS (domain name system), what a registrar's role is, and how to figure out how to pick and get that domain name registered so that you own it. I talk about the benefits of so-called stealth or private registration, in which you can hide your own name and address but still be the full owner of the domain name.

I also go into a lot of detail on how to pick a Web hosting company and an email host. You might choose one firm to register your domain name, handling your name service (DNS), run your Web site, and provide you with email. But there are some compelling reasons to split that service up a bit.

If you're a reporter or blogger and want a review copy, drop me a line.